Happy Excerpt #1

My book, Happy, was published in late July.  The subject matter is racism in America.  Here is an excerpt from the story.

 

Derrick Taylor was a punk, the kind of kid who felt entitled to everything and anything he wanted just because he was breathing.  He was going to be a truck driver and so he didn’t feel the need to do anything in school because, why does a truck driver need to know Social Studies?  Plus, why bother learning anything if you were just going to be passed to the next grade anyway?   So he pushed back against everything whether it was good for him or not.  This led to a life of crime. He had been arrested in a string of small time robberies and vandalism over the last few years.

We could look at the poor neighborhood in the small town of Brantley, where he grew up, and make all sorts of excuses for his behavior: the high crime rate, the high unemployment, the high drug use.  We could look at his family life and make excuses as well; his alcoholic father beat his mother to death one rainy night because she asked him to take off his shoes as he entered the house.  She had just been on her hands and knees cleaning the floor.  He took off his steel-tipped boot and beat her with it.  And when she was on the ground bleeding and begging for mercy he hit her with a dining room chair until it broke.  She was dead long before he stopped beating her.  Her bright red blood slowly oozed over the clean kitchen floor.

Derrick was home at the time.  He hid in the closet until he heard the front door slam before venturing out.  He was the one who found his broken mother.  He was the one who called the police.

Since that time, he was passed from one relative to the next.  Relatives who neither cared for him or gave him emotional support.  They offered him meaningless platitudes. “God loves you, if you love him,” or “Your life is a test and the bad events build character”, or “God only gives us what we are capable of handling.”  What twelve year old is capable of handling the death of his mother at the hands of his father?

Whatever the reasons that brought the sixteen year old to that confrontation with that police officer on that street in the suburb of that big city was immaterial.  He was there with a knife in his hand staring down the barrel of a gun.

 

The book is available at:    https://www.createspace.com/6305829

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About oxrider

Mr. Winter has written novels, books of poetry and short stories, and books on acting. He has written over three dozen plays, winning the S.C. Playwright’s Festival. His inventive theatrical work has been seen in the US and Europe. A.F. Winter has been acting, teaching, and directing, for over 30 years. He created a theatre which worked with at-risk youth giving them positive alternatives in their lives. Please visit his website at AFWinter.com. View all posts by oxrider

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