Missing Mister Wingfield: Part 1

This is an early draft of the first chapter of the novel Missing Mr. Wingfield, available now.


When Tracy was called to the principal’s office to answer for the pantsing of Brian Meltzer, the first question that Old Lady Standish asked was, “Is he the first boy to break your heart?”

“Oh no,” said Tracy.

“There was someone else?”

“Yes,” she said. “A telephone man who fell in love with long distances.”

“A what kind of a man?”

“Mr. Wingfield,” said Tracy, plucking one pencil from Standish’s Reese’s Peanut Butter mug, then another.

On the other side of the desk, the principal moved her mouse around. Then, once she’d gotten her cursor to wherever she wanted it to go, she began to hunt and peck at her keyboard. “Wingfield, you said?”

Tracy rolled her eyes, lining pencils up on the desk, their dull points aimed at the old woman. “Have you ever seen The Glass Menagerie?” she asked.

“Is that Wilde or Williams?” asked the principal, still typing away with her index fingers. “I always get them mixed up.”

“Well, they do both begin with a W,” said Tracy, trying to hide her incredulity, but forgetting to mask her sarcasm in the process.

Principal Standish stopped typing, folded her hands in front of her, and stared over the glasses that sat precipitously on the edge of her nose. She was unimpressed, one of the few adults at Harwich High who had never fallen under Tracy Silver’s spell.

“I’m sorry,” said Tracy.

“Just because I didn’t major in the humanities does not make me intellectually inferior, Miss Silver.”

“I’m sorry, alright.”

Standish pushed her seat back from the desk, rose, and crossed to her bookshelf. She plucked a dusty old Norton Anthology from the top shelf and returned to her seat.

“The pages are so thin,” said Tracy, as she watched the old woman leaf through the tome.

“Just a smidgen thicker than tissue paper,” said Standish, “but there’s a whole lot of canon to cram between two covers. Anything heavier and—”

To be continued…

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