First Chapter: Gross Potions

Last year I wrote a kids book. It was a slow-burn first draft written in a quirky, on-the-nose Wes Anderson Style. Some interest but the feedback was it was quirky and on-the-nose. I get it, not everyone’s internal voice sounds like Alec Baldwin

Still digging the idea behind the book, I worked on other projects and started rewriting it this fall. Ended up changing just about every word. Added a bunch of plot lines, infused Fear and Loathing, and fired my Baldwinian internal voice.  The book’s not finished but the first act is locked in.  So submitted without comment, Gross Potions: Chapter One.


You can’t outswim a mermaid in sneakers Grandpa Gross mused thirty feet below the surface of Lake Champlain. His legs were heavy and he spent too much oxygen trying to remove footwear. A quick glance up and Grandpa could see his beloved guitar floating beside the hull of a big boat. This is a disaster, he thought.

Somewhere in the murky mess below was his wife, Audrey. She called out the name Lizzie and jumped into the Lake. She had her quirks but this took the cake. From the deep black below there came muffled boom and flash of light. The underwater fireworks lasted only for a moment before returning to black.

Grandpa needed to resurface, but he observed a glitter in the depths. What are you up to Audrey? He hadn’t been submerged two minutes and desperately need air. Audrey was underwater closer to five, but she could. She knew a trick.

The glitter grew and was closing in. No chance it was Audrey. It wasn’t something to wait for. It was something to swim away from. Grandpa started towards surface but stopped. He was low on oxygen but full of curious. He turned to face it.

The thing was massive. It was as fast, as big and as bright as school bus rolling downhill without brakes. Grandpa had just one-second to recognize what it was – a pink, purple glitter shark with mouth open to swallow him whole. He closed his eyes just as his last bit of air bubbled from his mouth.

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