Introducing ‘Homegirl!’ by Ryder Collins
In the author’s own words, Homegirl! is ‘a love story where no one ever says, “I love you.”‘ In our words, it’s a gripping tale packed with nihilistic wit, irresistible characters, twists, thrills, spills, and a style that is truly its own.
We’re delighted to be giving Homegirl! a home at Honest Publishing later in 2011. We hope you’ll feel the same, and urge you to check back for more updates. Meanwhile, if you’d like an early taster, we’ve posted an extract below for your pleasure. Once again, a big Honest welcome to Ryder and Homegirl!
These are the things Homegirl doesn’t remember; these are the things she saw as she lay tied up on that bed, not for a night, like she thought, but for almost 72 hours. She doesn’t remember these hours; she doesn’t remember being bruised and bleeding and crying and pleading.
Homegirl was alone in the darkness and that’s all she felt.
The darkness pressed in on her and she wanted to fight it; she wanted to, but her legs and arms were tied to the huge wooden simulacra of acorns that made up the bed posts. She would’ve punched the darkness, she would’ve clawed, kicked, scratched, slapped that darkness if she’d been free. If she could ever’ve been free.
The only thing she could do was spit at it, and she was so thirsty.
She’d had nothing to drink but alcohol and some drug concoction in her wine she’d thought was just wine.
She was alone in the darkness and she saw herself at eight with her buck teeth and those skinny little braids. She was followed through the darkness by a Quentinkid; he kicked her in the crotch and then pushed her down and gave her a facewash of darkness.
It was cold and dark and she tried not to cry, but she cried and the darkness melted a little, but then froze back up on her cold buck-toothed skinny face.
She was alone in the darkness with a guy that looked like a muscley Clark Kent. A guy she’d been trying to repress. A guy that she let push his dick up her ass who said he’d stop if it was too much but wouldn’t stop after she said, No more. It’d felt like he was breaking something inside her.
She tried to throw that feeling back at the darkness but the darkness ate it up, smiled, belched, and then got darker for good measure.
She was alone with a man who looked like her father and they were throwing bowling balls at the darkness, but the darkness ate the balls and the darkness sent back bowling pins and then the man said something about how her fifteen year old breasts were real nice nice little titties.
She was alone in the darkness but then there was Labretboy and they were bowling and Labretboy was getting strikes and the scoreboard was going crazy every time. & every time the pins would fly off into the darkness, and Homegirl felt like crying she loved Labretboy’s moves so much.
& the darkness was just a little bit less dark.
& Homegirl stopped pleading and only whimpered for a moment.
But then Homegirl was alone on the smoke-stank carpeted steps going down to Labretboy’s basement bowling hangout/bar and it was because she and Labretboy always always fought when they weren’t fucking and she tried to console herself that she was a weeble and weebles wobbled but they never fell down.
The darkness didn’t care if she was standing or wobbling; the darkness didn’t care and the darkness got darker. The darkness sucked up Labretboy and his pins, too, just to show her what’s what.
She was alone with her fantasies about Richboy and these fantasies she’d tried so hard to repress, these fantasies she’d never expressed. How she wanted to marry him and when he’d come home from wherever he was, which wouldn’t be work cos that just wasn’t like him, she’d be wearing nothing but a seethrough something and she’d have a highball ready and she’d suck him off the minute he got in and if he didn’t like it he might spank her and if he really didn’t like it he might give her to the pizza boy and if he didn’t like her he might cat’o’nine tails her and if he really really didn’t like it he wouldn’t fuck her.
The withholding was always the worst.
She was alone with Peanutbuttersandwiches. Not the actual sandwich, but an artist she’d dated who’d make out with her and then have to leave because 1) he was allergic to something and/or 2) he had to eat a peanut butter sandwich. When he broke up with her, he’d said as her screen door slammed shut, I’ll always love you.
She was alone in the darkness and that screen door kept slamming slamming slamming on her.
She was alone in the darkness but then she was outside a bar and she was with this other artist guy and she was drunk and there was a cute punky drunk standing by them and she invited the artist guy and the punky guy back to her house and she made them listen to her read her own poetry and it was a battle of the dicks and the nice artisty guy tried to wait it out but the punky guy had more stamina that way and then she was alone with the pierced tongued tattooed punky guy who was also an artist and who had a girlfriend and who couldn’t get it up but went down on her with his pierced tongue and ruined her for all other oral sex ever and told her she tasted good and then a week later called her up for a threeway and then she never heard from him again until he turned into her favorite bartender/withholder.
She was alone in the darkness and her uterus was that screen door.
She was alone in the darkness and then there was the ex-Marine and she was buying cigarettes from him again at the Shell station and he was young and she was younger and foolish and he looked at her and she looked at him and for a moment there was a little bit of real real light.
Then she was alone in the darkness and the screen door was rasping against her other insides.
She was alone but then she wasn’t. She was in the workshop again, on the first day and there was Richboy and he was so tall and so handsome with blue eyes and wavy brown hair, so handsome that she can only remember these vague details because if she remembers him in detail the screen door will cut into her heart.
The screen door will become her heart.
The screen door becomes her heart cos she can’t forget him.
She’s alone in the darkness and the june beetles are hurtling themselves at her screen, at the little bit of light she and the ex-Marine made.
She’s alone and then there’s the ex-Marine again and a pinball machine and she’s pretending like she cares about pinball, but all she really cares about are how the lights go crazywild when he gets one in the hole.
She wants to be his pinball again; she wants to be his hole.
She’s alone in the darkness of the tikki bar and then there’s the ex-Marine and she’s breaking up with him cos he, too, gots a girlfriend; she’s got him by the leather lapels and it’s so beautiful and so melodramatic that if she could freeze her life at this instant she just wouldn’t go forward ever.
& that’s when the lights really go out.