Talking Story

To tide you over until the release date, here’s an excerpt from chapter 1, The End of Summer Fun.

I was walking toward Jay when it happened.

‘Ālika threw a Dixie cup of water on me.

“Zader!” Jay shrieked.

The water hit my shoulder and upper left arm. Hot lava fingers oozed down, scalding, sizzling, burning everything in its path like acid. Like snake venom. Like death. On fire, I dropped to the ground and rolled.

“Holy crap,” said Chad. “Try look. J’like holy water on one devil!”

Wide-eyed with excitement, ‘Ālika crossed himself. “He’s possessed!” he shouted. “Everybody, Zader stay possessed!”

Through the pain, I felt Jay kneel down next to me, his hands ripping at the bottom of my t-shirt. “Zader, off! Get it off! Lift your arms so I can get it off.” As he threw the shirt over my head, I felt a final sting as a wet sleeve brushed against my face, raising another angry line of welts along my cheekbone.

More shadows ringed me. I opened my eyes through the pain to see Jerry Santos and Benji Chang looking down at me, mouths open and catching flies. I pushed Jay away and stood up, covering the weeping sores and broken blisters with my hands as best I could.

‘Ālika now stood on the picnic table bench, holding out his index fingers, making the sign of a cross, his utility knife blade forgotten in the dirt. “You stay away from me, you freak,” he yelled.

Excerpted from One Boy, No Water by Lehua Parker. Copyright © 2012 by Lehua Parker. Excerpted by permission of Jolly Fish Press, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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