by Harriet Showman
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publication Date: August 18th 2015 by Self-Published
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An experimental, literary YA multimedia narrative centered on the experiences of 16-year-old Gregg Davis, who undergoes brutal bullying and sexual violence by her peers.
Spanning the mediums of the printed page, online social media and the screen, this story offers a wrenching, empathetic look at the experience of bullying through a victim’s eyes, and then extends this theme of oppression, humiliation and violence to address issues of historical and systemic racism in the U.S. today.
Read Chapter One for free at invisible-i-am.com.
my vomit-soaked skirt stuck to my butt as i walked, shivering, to my house. Mom’s ’86 Volvo was not in the driveway.
(no maternal freak-outs)
Wincing with every step, i climbed to the front porch of our rambling, grayframe Victorian house and unlocked the door. my body screamed from the abuse, especially that last vicious kick.
A’ja followed me, sensing my distress, as i slipped upstairs to my bathroom and began to peel off my clothes. Pulling my sweater over my head hurt, but seeing the bruises on my thighs made me wince more. Staring at my puke-covered self in the mirror over the bathroom sink, i issued my verdict:
i am a survivor.
What did i see in my eyes?
There was still some ﬁght in me and a whole lot of self-conﬁdence. my family’s motto came to mind: Fortitudo Fortis Defendit. Courage Protects the Bold Ones. The saying appeared on the Davis family crest, which featured two roaring lions with crowns, standing on hind legs with forepaws ready for battle, each facing a brilliant, gold aura-encompassed heart. This crest, painted on a shield, was positioned over the ﬁ replace in our formal dining room.
(my family’s standard for daily consumption)
Being a victim was not in my DNA. Could i turn this situation into a victory for myself? i never wanted those troglodytes for friends. Why not have them as enemies? At least everyone would be out in the open. None of that fake, Southern, “I’ll pray for you” crap as they stick the knife between the fourth and ﬁ fth rib.
i would have wept for my loss of innocence but there was no time. A more important task awaited me. i had to fool the parents into thinking nothing was wrong. i was not about to tell them the whole story. Not a chance. If i mentioned the extent of the bullying, Dad would storm the corridors of my life seeking vengeance and i couldn’t take any more embarrassment. i would handle my life my way.
God, i thought, this hair. How was i ever going to unsnarl it? Couldn’t. In an impetuous decision, i decided to mark this day with a visible reminder of my ability to endure. Where were the scissors? Oh yeah, i left them on the bookcase after i cut Jack’s face out of my yearbooks.
Grabbing them, i returned to the bathroom. This would not be a pretty haircut. It would look as raw as i felt. i began hacking – leaving an inch here, two inches there and a peculiar fringe going every which way across my forehead. i wanted to do something that could not be easily ﬁ xed. i liked it. Sort of resembled a bizarre Raggedy Ann doll.
Perhaps a shower. Hot water cured everything, i hypothesized. As the healing stream poured down my body, i closed my eyes and turned my face upward, seeking a moment of grace.
i lifted my arms to the ceiling and let loose a battle cry.
The new Gregg Davis.
No one screwed with me.
Win (1) signed art print of an image from the book (US/CAN only)
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