Devil Moon: A Mystic Romance
by Dana Taylor
The Set Up: "Devil Moon" is a romantic comedy set in a small town in the Ozarks. Divorced former football star Phil Wilcox has returned to his home town in an attempt to develop a relationship with his estranged 11 year old daughter, Melissa. He's taken a job as the high school football coach. This scene takes place at practice.
Phil climbed the bleacher steps two at a time to reach Melissa, who sat in the middle of the empty metal benches. "Hey, kiddo, this is a pleasant surprise. How did you get here? Does your mom know where you are?"
Melissa chewed a wad of gum, pulling a long string out of her mouth once in a while. Her tattered jeans and old, stained t-shirt made him feel guilty. He'd press Pam to buy the kid some decent clothes.
"I rode my bike." Phil noted the bicycle parked in the grass. "Mom doesn't care where I go after school as long as I'm home by five. It isn't that far over here. Thought I'd check out the team. They really stunk last year. Looks like they still stink."
At that moment they watched the receiver fumble the ball. Phil winced.
"It's early in the season yet," Phil said. "So, how's school going? Do you like your teachers?"
"They're all right." Melissa kept chewing and watching the football practice, never making eye contact with Phil. Her long, stringy brown hair hung on her bony shoulders.
Phil jiggled his feet impatiently. "Do you need any school supplies?"
Jeez, talking to his own kid was like conversing with a brick wall. Maybe he should just get back to practice and let her watch. He felt like an idiot trying to make small talk.
Then she looked him straight in the eye. "Mom says you're a drunk. Are you?"
Oh, Christ, here we go. "You know I go to AA meetings. Yeah, I've been a drunk."
"Mom says you only sober up for visitations, but you drink the rest of the time."
Phil bit back a curse and kept his cool. "I haven't had a drink in three years."
"Mom says you're a loser."
Phil rested his hands on his wide spread knees. "Well, I've had my ups and downs, just like everybody else. I didn't live up to your mother's expectations. But I'm trying to make up for past mistakes. Don't count me out of the game yet."
Melissa stood up. "If you can make this group of hammerheads into a winning team, I guess you wouldn't be such a loser."
She started down the bleacher steps, then stopped and turned around. "Did you know that a cockroach can live six months without its head?"
Phil couldn't suppress a grin. "No, I didn't know that."
"Oh yeah, it's true. I read it on the Internet. See ya." She bounced down to her bicycle.
Phil watched her slim figure mount the bike and push off. The pressure was on. He had to turn these hammerheads into football players.
He had to do it for Melissa.
Devil Moon is available for $2.99 on ebook at Amazon.com and Smashwords