One Tiny Secret - By Adam Kunz

Chapter One

“Perfect,” I say aloud as I finish the final touches on the flyer for the Halloween party this weekend. Leaning back against the pile of comfy pillows gathered behind me, I admire my work. A smile creeps across my face because of the fact I went with my gut and used the classic color scheme of an orange background with black writing.


WHEN: This Saturday night!

WHERE: If you don’t already know, YOU’RE NOT INVITED!

WHY: Do you really need a reason?

You know the deal: full-on kegger, epic food spread, and best of all…NO ADULTS!


And remember, destroy all evidence of this flyer after reading it, or you’ll get one big-ass trick instead of a treat.

The door to my room abruptly swings open, and startles me while I’m busy proofreading the flyer. My dad stands there, still in uniform, with a tattered cardboard box in his arms. I can clearly read my horrible handwriting on the side of the box in thick black marker: Dani’s Stuff. He seems annoyed, and I’m pretty sure I know why.

“Uh, knocking would’ve been nice,” I huff as I quickly close my laptop. The last thing I need is my father, the sheriff, seeing what I’m working on. I’d be grounded for life if he found out that his daughter is helping promote such a prolific party. One that has him and his deputies searching all night in order to bust, but they never find it.

“Sorry, but you promised me you’d go through this stuff, and then donate anything you didn’t need anymore. I’m tired of tripping over it downstairs,” he replies, sounding a little irritated.

“I’ll get to it.”

“That’s what you said three weeks ago. And yet, here I am, after almost breaking my neck from stumbling over this box again, because it was still in the same place when you last told me you’d get to it. Dani, you’re eighteen years old now. I shouldn’t have to ask you a million times to do something,” he argues, and then sets the box on the floor next to my bed. “Here, let me help move the process along.”

He begins to pull open one of the flaps on the box, but I put my hand over it and push it back down.

“I’ll look through it right after I’m finished with what I’m doing, okay?”

He sends me a glare. “Scout’s honor?”

“Scout’s honor,” I reply after rolling my eyes.

He lets out a subtle chuckle and places a kiss on my forehead. As he begins to pull away, I notice his focus shifts to the side of my face.

“I see you’re wearing the skull-and-crossbones earrings your mom sent you,” he comments while positioning my earlobe so he can see the earring better.

“Yeah, I thought I’d get into the Halloween spirit.”

I see the sadness enter his eyes the moment he mentions Mom. They went through a rocky divorce almost a year ago after she decided to run off with someone much younger and not so super committed to his job. I still love her, but I hate what she did. The whole way she went about it was just all kinds of shitty. When it was all said and done, I decided to stay in Holden Ridge with my dad, since Mom seemed fixated on a sex romp with her hunky little boy toy. I didn’t really feel like changing schools during my senior year anyway. Besides, my father’s a really great guy when he wants to be and not too much of a pain in the ass to live with, faults and all.

“Hey, speaking of Halloween, how about we put up the decorations tomorrow? I know it’s a little late, and you usually did that with your mother, but—”

“I’d like that,” I reply, surprising him.

He smiles. “Good. Tomorrow it is then.”

I nod and watch him stroll toward the door. He turns back around and looks like he wants to say something.

“Yeah, Dad?” I ask, trying to help him along.

He hesitates. “You haven’t by any chance heard rumblings about a party going on this weekend, have you?”

“Nope. I’m not really in that crowd, you know that.”

“Huh. Well, can you do me a favor and keep an ear out?”

“Will do,” I reply, feeling bad that I just flat-out lied.

Once he leaves and shuts the door behind him, I open my laptop to find the flyer’s still there. It glares back at me, almost as if to say, “How could you lie to