Under the Cover of Darkness is sort of an experiment book for me. It started out as a spy book, but then it turned into something different. It wasn’t supposed to be a book about family coping together in hard times, but it did. I did not have control over my characters! It was my idea to make it spy, but it was David’s (the main character) idea to make it a touching story. Well, I never win arguments with my characters. So... David won and it’s now a sentimental book.
David Cruse walked out of his bedroom and into the tiny kitchen in the three bedroom apartment that he and his three siblings lived in. His younger, and very mischievous, little brother, Noah, was already at the table, trying to scoop as many Lucky Charms into his mouth as he could. Next to him slouched in the chair was his other brother, Brian.
Brian was a tall, skinny, fifteen year old with streaked blond hair that had natural highlights of red and sea blue eyes with green specks in them. Pimples freely populated his face, and he had little, white pieces of toilet paper stuck to his skin where he had cut himself shaving. He wore a stained, once white undershirt and grey, gym shorts that were too short for him and were pulled in many places. “Nah, I’ve been up for a while. You just can’t tell my by sleepiness.” He followed that phrase with another loud yawn. “Hey, where’s Molly? I was sure I heard her little voice somewhere this morning.”
David shrugged, picking up a marshmallow rainbow from the table that had escaped from Noah’s overfilled bowl. “She and Noah woke me up this morning. I haven’t seen her since. She’s probably in her room.”
Noah nodded eagerly. “Yup. She’s in hur woom, twying to hide from me. We were pwaying hide and seek, and I towld hur to hide. And then I was hungwy.”
“And you just left her still hiding,” David asked, looking at the little redhead with question in his eyes.
Noah nodded and noisily slurped the milk from his bowl so that there was only cereal left. He wiped his milk moustache with the sleeve of his dinosaur pajamas and smiled. “I’ll go get hur once I’m done.”
“Which will be in, like, forever,” said Brian, taking the bag of Lucky Charms cereal and pouring a bowlful of it into his mouth.
David sighed and watched Brian. “Come on, Brian. Really? Use a bowl, dude.”
Brian crunched noisily and looked at David, shrugging carelessly. “It’s a waste of dishes,” he said through his loud crunching. Or at least that’s what David thought he said. It was kind of hard to tell what he was trying to say with him eating and all.
Noah laughed at Brian and started to do it himself, jumping out of his chair and onto the table, trying to grab the bag with his chunky hands. But David quickly snatched it away before Noah could pour any into his mouth. “Nuh uh, Noah. You know better. You have much better manners than Brian.”
Noah stuck out his lower lip in a pout and plopped back down in his chair. “Bwian did it,” he whined, rubbing his face.
“Yeah, well you’re not Brian. You’re Noah. And Noah has better manners than Brian.” David placed the Lucky Charms bag in the refrigerator on the top shelf where Noah couldn’t get it and went to go sit back down at the table. Noah wasn’t pouty anymore and was now scoffing down the rest of his mushy cereal.
“So,” Brian started the conversation, sitting back in his chair and crossing his arms around his chest. “What are we going to do today?”
David shrugged while he took a napkin and wiped up Noah’s milk mess. “I dunno’. What do you want to do?”
Brian’s smile was replaced by a sad frown, and his eyes became gloomy. “I’d like to... to visit mom,” he said quietly, his voice becoming hoarse.
Noah suddenly looked up from his eating and furrowed his eyebrows, complexed. “Visit mommy?” He asked, cocking his head sideways. “But I thouwht that she is in heaven.”
David smiled sadly and nodded his head. “Yes, she is in heaven, right now.”
“Then how can we visit her?” Noah’s face still had remints of cereal and milk stuck everywhere.
“Brian means where she is...” David sighed heavily and looked at the little redhead.
“Where she is buried,” a soft girl’s voice finished David’s sentence. It was his little sister, Molly.