Announcing a new short novel from me entitled I’LL GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO CRY ABOUT, my first fiction for adult readers with a trans character. It’s an ebook only, from the new enterprise called SHEBOOKS, which offers short works by women, for women. I’m thrilled about the project. Here’s a link where you can purchase access to Shebooks– the subscriptions about $4, and my book is an additional $2.95.
And here is the way the thing begins:
I’ll Give You Something to Cry About
© 2014 Jennifer Finney Boylan
They were headed south in a beat-up minivan. Riley was behind the wheel. The Doors were on the radio. The killer awoke before dawn. He put his boots on. Riley’s mother in law, sitting in the passenger seat, rolled her eyes.
“What is this,” said Alex, his daughter. Formerly she had been his son. “The music you’d listen to before swallowing Windex?”
“It’s a classic,” said Riley, quietly. “This Is The End.”
“I don’t like classics,” said six-year old Otis, from the way back. He had the sheet music for Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee” in his lap.
“Fine,” said Riley, and switched off the music. His duffle bag contained a copy of Heritage Trail: 100 Sites of American Freedom, East Coast and a canister of Celexa, which was an anti-depressant also helpful in anger management. There was a doctor’s order for the chemo, which he had not yet filled.
In her purse, Mrs. Leary–known as Gammie–carried photographs of her daughter and grandchildren, none of them taken more recently than five years ago. The handbag also held her health-care card from Blue Cross, fifty dollars, all in fives, and two different lipsticks-one red, one rose. There was a canister of Lopressor, a type of beta-blocker used to reduce high blood pressure. Mrs. Leary did not have a driver’s license, or a debit card, or a cell phone, or a photograph of her late husband, Finbar.
Otis’s backpack contained t-shirts and shorts and a LEGO Bionicles figure named Mata Nui. Flung out of his own universe, Mata Nui finds himself on the desert world of Bara Magna. He had also packed two of Mata Nui’s weapons, the Thomax Launcher and the Nynrah Ghost Blaster. There was a pair of well-worn Harry Potter pajamas, by now a size too small and with holes in the knees, but with which he was not yet ready to part. The pajamas were wrapped around a soft plush toy called Hello Kitty! In a side pocket was a book entitled Ten Boys Who Used Their Talents. In a translucent amber canister was a supply of an anti-anxiety medication called fluvoxamine, or Luvox. Next to the Luvox was a stuffed Pokemon named Pikachu. I choose you, Pikachu!
In Alex’s suitcase were fishnet stockings, two different pairs of black stilettos, a black pencil skirt, a shimmering blue Spandex halter top, gold hoop earrings, a pair of size six Gap jeans, and a miniskirt from Banana Republic. There was a bottle of Spironolactone, a diuretic that also acted as an anti-androgen, and another one of Premarin, a form of conjugated estrogen. Alex’s journal, a small leather book with crisp white pages, lay atop her lingerie, along with a Schaeffer cartridge fountain pen filled with ink of peacock blue.
They passed a large brick building, in front of which a dozen men and women in cook’s uniforms were smoking cigarettes. It was odd to see so many chefs gathered in one spot.
“What happened?” the grandmother muttered. “Somebody spoiled the broth?”
Riley turned the mini van down High Street and drove through the heart of Wesleyan University. Son of a bitch, Riley thought. Same as it ever was, except for the absence of students, which wasn’t a surprise, since it was June. Beyond a row of brownstone buildings to their right was a baseball diamond and a rolling green hill with an observatory at the crest. The campus had the clean, Hollywood-perfect look of a New England college in early summer
The Sienna was equipped with a talking GPS device nicknamed Captain Kirk. “Prepare to arrive at your destination,” said the Captain…
[N.B. Heavy demand has made the app a little slow and balky at times this last week– hang in there; it really will work if you’re patient. Hope you enjoy! –JFB]