So this is the direct continuation of that bit from ch. 4 I posted earlier, which you can read here if you haven't already.

Chapter 3 is too weird to excerpt. This is so much more fun for me than regular blogging, by the way. And while I'm here, belated congratulations Lily Tuck.


chapter four: char
another excerpt from GIRLY, a novel by Elizabeth Merrick

“Honey, you’re all the Jesus I need,” I told Lucas after Christmas dinner that year, once we were home again amid soft, colored beams thrown from the tree lights off wads of metallic wrapping paper scattered around. Jesus, annoyingly calm and underfed, folded His hands inside His frame, leaning on top of a pile of presents for my people I hadn’t quite gotten around to mailing before the date.

Lucas’s neck and shoulders were in knots from the Yuletide tension of all the chatty women he grew up with. I showed him the Boat, the Cobra, the Bear—yoga poses that might help the muscle strain—but it only took one little look, one little smile from him to convince me to get his undershirt off him and push Tiger Balm into the gold-brown of his upper torso. Jesus watched—He, Jesus, didn’t mind. . . although, Auntie Racinda—generally so free and easy with many of the commandments, herself—maybe would not have appreciated subjecting her gift to what we were enjoying so much.


"You've had a hard time," I say to Amandine. This is how I always begin. Why not? It's true for everyone on Planet Earth.


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