Rough Paradise by Alec Butler

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As a preview of our Second Spring Launch, Quattro would like to share an excerpt from Rough Paradise by Alec Butler.

The first day I met Darla and spoke to her, I was trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. I was not having any luck lying low and I stuck out like a sore thumb wherever I went. I was trying to save a starving cat that was hanging out in the school parking lot. I watched Darla as she put on her red lipstick in the side-view mirror of a souped- up Duster. The older boys meowed obscenely at me, and called me “Pussy Boy.”

“Look at what the freak is doing now,” they jeered at me, half-drunk before first period. “It wants to be a boy so bad but it will only ever be a boy with a pussy, right? A Pussy Boy!” They all cracked up at the joke made at my expense.

Pussy is the beautiful calico cat I was trying to save that day. Pussy finally came out from under the cars that morning before first period. I was down on my hands and knees on the parking lot asphalt calling out “Here, pussy. Here, pussy” over and over. I was determined to save her. This is why they call me “Pussy Boy” wherever I go now. It was also the first time I spoke to Darla. It was the first time Darla spoke to me.

“Give that poor, starving pussy some food,” were Darla’s first words to me.

Because of Darla, the starving cat finally let me feed her some of my tuna sandwich and pet her. I will never forget Pussy arching her back into my hand, purring as I looked up at Darla as she put away her lipstick. Now, Pussy lives with me, here in my room. Sleeps on my bed. Purrs and purrs for hours beside me while I’m reading and writing this. I love my pussycat. It will be impossible saying goodbye to her. The day I reach my limit and can’t stand this so-called paradise anymore, I will find a way to take Pussy with me.

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Don’t miss the launch of this and other exciting Quattro Books titles at our Second Spring Launch on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at District Oven, beginning at 7:30 pm. Visit the Events section of our website for more information.

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