Excerpt of Fish Out of Water


Even though Astrid and I are both dry and wearing fresh clothes, I still feel the chill as if I were sitting before James in my living room with wet floors. Astrid seems to feel it, too, because she’s huddled in a blanket.

Thankfully, neither of the Bens and Cecilia are down in the rec-room, so they aren’t here to watch me get scolded… for some reason I haven’t figured out yet.

“That was the second ocean accident in a very short amount of time,” James says, glancing between us like it might be somehow our fault.

“This time was my fault,” I mutter. “But the first time- it was such a clear day, and then it wasn’t-”

“Thank you for taking responsibility,” James counters, “but I’m not convinced that either were your fault, Brandon.”

I frown. “You think someone else is at fault here? Other than nature?”

James turns his grim face to Astrid, and gestures toward the pen and pad of paper he gave her.

She glances down at it before turning questioningly to me.

Nodding, I clear my throat and turn to James. “Actually, James, Astrid can-”

“Talk now,” she finishes.

James whips his head back around to face Astrid, his eyes wide as his hand moves to cover his chest. “Oh, my.”

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