A New Sheriff in Town


"Zach is good friends with Isaac Montgomery," she said. "They're always hanging out." Or more appropriately, her mother had Isaac come over to their house because she didn't want Zach near Isaac's older brother.

Her brother had come back to them, so he'd heard the end of their conversation. "Isaac's stepsister is scary," he informed them. "She beat up every guy at our school. She even beat up Kent Miller. He's the biggest, toughest guy in eighth grade, but wham!" He punched his hand with a fist. "She took him down in gym class. A black eye, a concussion, and two broken bones."

(Excerpt from Chapter 13 of
"Trouble Starts With a Q")


It was the first day of school, and Isaac Montgomery couldn't have been any happier. He drew a long breath of relief as his mother pulled into the school's cul-de-sac, along with many other parents dropping their kids off.

River Valley Junior High was a gleaming bastion of beige and off-white and dark brown, the colors sharp even in the blistering Arizona sunshine, but it was more than just a school building. This was a safe zone where Isaac was free from his parents' screaming matches. Divorced four years, and they still got into it.

Isaac had his hand on the minivan's sliding door, ready to leap out before his mother brought the vehicle to a full stop. He could already see a bunch of his friends waiting for him near the school sign. Finally.

"Wait," his mother said. To his relief, she didn't attempt to embarrass him by leaning over and kissing his cheek, like she'd used to. It just wasn't cool to get kissed by your mother in public. "Promise me you'll look after her."

Seeing how said "her" was jutting her chin out and glaring at him and his mother, Isaac didn't think Meg needed any looking-after. His new stepsister might only be a lowly sixth-grader, two school years behind him, but she'd made it absolutely clear she could take care of herself. Even now, she was surveying the school scene outside the car window with narrowed eyes. He could practically see her salivating over the thought of fresh prey.

Predators were like that, no matter how small they were.


I have been plagiarized fourteen times in the last two weeks. For this reason I am taking down everything but the first chapter for my long stories, so I can preserve my timestamps and prove that I wrote the stories first. If you guys need more information, please refer to the plagiarism notes for my long stories. I am now in the process of taking down this one-shot.

I hope you guys understand my decision. Please feel free to contact me via email, Livejournal, PM, review, twitter, or my personal website. Check my FP profile. Thanks.