Excerpt for Will McGill and the Costume Calamity by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Will McGill

and the

Costume Calamity


Brian Costello

illustrations by

Billee Nicosia

Copyright 2017 by Brian Costello

First Edition

Edited by Samantha Bates

Book design: Y42K Publishing Services



To my Wife, my daughter Emily, my son Lucas, and other family who inspired me to work with kids, to the many kids I have met and with whom I have shared Will McGill, and again to my amazing illustrator, Billie, whose incredible talent and vision gives life to Will and his world.

Chapter 1

Will woke up on Friday, October 31st in a hurry. It was still two hours before he had to be up for school, but he couldn’t sleep. It was HALLOWEEN! He jumped out of bed and started getting ready to go even though there wasn’t anywhere to go for a long time. He had carefully packed his costume to change into at school and laid out his clothes the night before. Will was very excited about his costume this year. He made it with his mom.

After a quick shower and brushing teeth, Will pulled his black and orange t-shirt down over his shaggy brown hair. He buttoned up his jeans and grabbed his hat on his way out of his bedroom door.

He hopped down the steps two at a time. He darted over to the cabinet and pulled out his favorite cereal. Will grabbed a bowl and poured in cereal until it was nearly over the top. Then, with one quick motion, the fridge was open. Will grabbed the milk, popped off the lid, and started to pour it on his cereal. He made his own breakfasts since the first day of school. Of course the first day didn’t go so well, but since then he had been so responsible...with some things. As he sat down at the deep blue counter top and began shoveling cereal into his mouth, Will looked at his hat. It was sitting on the countertop, looking brand new as always.

Will had not gone a day without wearing his hat since the day he’d found it. Almost two months had gone by since Will found the magic hat. The green hat that said “lucky” was more than just a lucky hat that helped him survive one of the wildest days of his life. It also had the ability to help Will hear people’s thoughts. Will both loved and hated being able to hear what people were thinking. Sometimes the voices were too hard to sort through. Other times it was very helpful to know what people were thinking. There were times when knowing what people thought led him into way more trouble than it was worth. He had mixed feelings about it all, but it was something he couldn’t imagine living without.

Will had gotten used to hearing everything. While sometimes it hurt his feelings, there were many more times where he heard people thinking wonderful things about him. Even after two months he was still learning how to adapt and trying to figure out what to do with this power. Will was a huge Spiderman fan, and he couldn’t help but keep coming back to one quote, “with great power comes great responsibility.” He wasn’t sure how, but he would put this new power to good use.

After two months with the hat, Will had not figured out how to make good use of this new ability. He thought about it a lot. Sometimes thinking about it got him into trouble. He remembered so many times where he would be doodling superheroes in his notebook and dreaming of ways he could be helpful. His teacher would often complain about him not paying attention. He missed a few recess periods because of it. He didn’t care too much. It just gave him more time to sit and dream up new super ideas. Too bad none of them ever worked.

All of the sudden Will realized his bowl was empty. From upstairs he heard his sister shouting at his mom about needing more time to get ready. She was different this year. She was always fighting with his mom. He knew, because of his hat, that she was really just missing their dad. Will missed his dad all the time too. It seemed like so long ago when his dad got sick. It felt like he’d lived a whole life since that time. They had moved to a new house. His mom had started a new job. Both he and his sister had started at new schools. Everything was new since then, but Will always remembered their old life.

Will put the bowl in the sink and washed it out. He was ready to go, but he still had almost an hour before the bus came. Will’s mom was finally letting him take the bus. He liked talking with his friends on his way into school, but sometimes he had to take his hat off because there were so many voices. He wasn’t sure what to do until the bus came, so he took out his notebook and started to draw.

Before he knew it, his mom was shouting from the hall, “IT’S TIME TO GO! THE BUS IS ALMOST HERE!”

Will closed his notebook, shoved it into his backpack, threw on his hat, and ran out the door. He avoided the skateboard at the bottom of the steps and in less than 5 long strides he had caught up to Jim, Tom, Angela, and Jane at his bus stop. The five friends hopped onto the bus and found their seats. Everyone was thinking about the Halloween Parade. Will looked down at the seat. His bookbag was there, but his costume was not!

Chapter 2

Panic. Will was so upset he was shaking. This was supposed to be one of the best days of third grade! He was proud of his homemade costume. Now he was going to be the ONLY one not wearing a costume. All of his friends, his classmates, even his teachers would be wearing costumes. Being the only one without a costume reminded him of walking into the wrong class on the first day of school. He was already feeling alone and out of place. Everyone would ask him, “Where is your costume Will?”

“Hey Will, what are you going to be?” Tom asked as he peeked over the seat behind Will.

“Where’s your costume? I want to see!”

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(Pages 1-3 show above.)