This is Chapter 1 from a middle grade novel I've been working on for about three years. It's actually a flash forward to an event that occurs later in the novel. Keep in mind, formatting changes when things are copied into blogger; I know dialogue is supposed to be on separate lines, but it won't let me copy text from Word exactly. Let me know what you think! See if you can spot a "Show not Tell" towards the end.
The applause from the crowd was ringing in Kai’s ears as he stood to his feet. Clumsily, he knocked his trumpet against the music stand in front of his chair and the mouthpiece clanged to the floor rolling to the edge of the stage. Red faced, he pushed his way past a never-ending sea of legs and instruments in a desperate attempt to rescue it before it tumbled over the side. Avoiding the glares from everyone around him, Kai reached out his hand, smiled weakly at the audience, and grabbed the mouthpiece before rushing back to his seat. He wanted to enjoy this moment. Granted, the band hadn’t exactly torn up the stage with their performance. What he and the 58 other sixth-graders had produced during the 25 minute concert sounded more like a sick train than the winter fantasy it had been advertised as in the program. None of that really mattered to Kai though. It was their first concert after all and they’d made it through every song without stopping, which is a feat they hadn’t accomplished before tonight.
As the noise began to die, Kai’s ears picked up a different sound. Softer maybe, but it was gaining in strength. Looking across the stage, he noticed that everyone including his best friend Simeon was staring in his direction. Instinctively, he whipped around, assuming another piccolo player had fainted, which they were known to do if required to play more than two songs in a row. No such luck. All the girls looked ok. Winded maybe, but ok. Turning back around, he mouthed, “What’s up?” to Simeon who was sitting parallel to him but on the other side of the stage.
His friend mouthed back, “Your shirt!”
“What about my shirt?” he said out loud to no one in particular. Simeon pointed to his back and Kai shrugged, tilting his head to one side confused.
“I think he’s telling you to look at the back of your shirt idiot!” a trombone player shouted jolting Kai out of a fog.
“The back of my shirt, why?” he said glancing from left to right and realizing the applause he’d heard seconds ago was quickly being replaced by laughter.
“Just get out of here and take that shirt off before you embarrass yourself any more than you already have,” hissed Carrie Fisher, a fellow trumpeter sitting next to him. Dazed, Kai looked up again and scanned the audience, trying to locate his parents, but all he could find was the head of his stupid brother Jimmy, who was cracking up along with what seemed like the rest of the audience.
Man, someone must have said something hilarious, Kai thought, before it dawned on him that everyone in the auditorium was staring at him. They were all laughing at him! Quickly, he threw down his instrument and yanked the front of his t-shirt around in order to inspect the back. Thousands of images of what could possibly be wrong raced through his head. Was he wearing an enormous kick me sign? Was the shirt riding up in the back revealing his new heart-covered boxers? A gift from his Grandma of course. Kai concentrated on twisting the back of the shirt around towards the front without completely undressing in front of everyone, but it was useless. No matter what he did, it was too hard to actually see what was there.
Frantic, he pushed his way to the end of the row and ran toward the back of the stage to a set of floor to ceiling mirrors. Turning to face the audience, he spotted the director Mr. Patrick, who was now waving his wand madly in the air in order to silence the band and the crowd. Kai knew he’d broken Mr. P.’s number one concert rule: Never leave your seat until the curtain closes. If you do, you better be sick or dying, but he didn’t care. He had to figure out what was going on. So he cranked his head around and let his shoulders drop in order to finally see what everyone was so worked up about. At that moment, his heart stopped cold and his mouth turn to sandpaper.
What had he done? Where had things gone so wrong? The first months of middle school had gone by so smoothly; he was actually enjoying himself and definitely getting the feeling that he was fitting in. He had started the day as such an ordinary kid. But now, under the blinding stage lights, in front of a packed auditorium, he’d done something so completely moronic that he knew he couldn’t possibly live it down. Kai looked up slowly and took one last peek at the scene now being reflected back at him in the mirrors before bolting to the hallway. Without a doubt, his social life had just hit a monstrous road block.