Monday, June 17, 2013

My Three Dads excerpt by ZaneSilva

A story for Father's Day.  Told from a kid's POV, but by a grown man.  For a young adult audience, but with older readers in mind.

In My Three Dads by Zane Silva, Carl MacSchafer, about to graduate from college, tells the story of his childhood, a sort of informal testimonial to thank the men who raised him. In the beginning, he was leery about having a gay couple for his foster parents, but living with Leonard Schafer and James MacPhalen, he found affection and stability for the first time in his young life. Now that his biological father has reappeared and wants him back, everything may change again… and not for the better.

My Three Dads
Silver Stream Publishing (June 15, 2013)
ISBN: 9781614959526


[For the last half-dozen years since his grandmother was placed in a nursing home, Carl Crawley has been moved from one foster home to another, earning himself the label of “problem child” along the way.]

I was going on twelve when I learned they had found the umpteenth home for me. They assembled a panel, two women and a man, to inform me, so they said, of my options. Options? It sounded ominous. Since when did I have any say in the matter? "Options" made it sound as though they were considering other possibilities than the facility for boys or a family. I expected to be given an ultimatum: behave or get sent to reform school.

"It seems your last placement didn't work out," one of them began. "What do you think the problem was?"

I shrugged. As if I didn't know she meant I was the problem! "It was no different from the others," I said.

"So where do we go from here?"

I was suspicious. They were asking for my input as if I were an adult. "You tell me," I said.

"There's Mr. Schafer and Mr. MacPhalen."

"You mean I get to choose? How can I? They're both just names to me."

"Both, not one or the other."

So I was right. I imagined them as the directors of some kind of living arrangement for problem kids, one step short of reform school. My spirits, already close to rock bottom, fell. "So that's where I'm going," I said.

"If you agree."

Were they asking me to sign my life away or something? There had to be a catch. "Why wouldn't I? Is there something wrong with the place?"

All three looked embarrassed. The second woman spoke up. "They're a gay couple."

"Do you know what that means?" the man asked.

First they pretend I'm a grown-up, that I can control my own destiny, then they ask me if I know something every kid my age knew.

"Well, do you?" he repeated.

"Yeah, I know a thing or two. I'm not a baby. I have hair growing on my dick." I did, but not much. I probably could have counted them on my fingers and toes.

The women looked flustered. "You don't have to tell us that," the man said angrily.

I pretended not to understand how he meant it. "I know I don't. The doctor's seen it, so it's in my file."

The second woman repeated his question. "Does it make a difference to you?"

"Does what make a difference to me?"

"That they're a gay couple."

"Not if they leave me alone."

"All prospective foster families are thoroughly investigated," the second woman quickly assured me. "If we thought there was any chance—"

"Then why should I care?" I interrupted. "I won't be there all that long, anyway."

"If that's your attitude, you won't be long anywhere," she snapped.


"The other kids may tease you about it," the first woman explained, trying to sound kind.

"What other kids?"

"Your friends at school."

Since when had I had friends at school? "It's summer," I pointed out, "and like I said, it's only temporary, right?" They looked at each other, exasperated. "That's how it's always been," I added.

"We're hoping it's a good fit this time."

Gays, zombies, whatever. "I can take care of myself," I mumbled grudgingly.

"Then you're willing to give it a try?"

Lotsa luck, I thought. I didn't expect I'd be there long—a few months at most—and that was fine with me.


Lloyd Meeker said...

Intriguing, smooth-flowing dialogue -- but I wanted more! Far too short an excerpt...

And of course, I wasn't at all curious about who's using the name Zane Silva.

Victor J. Banis said...

I agree with LLoyd, the excerpt is short, but it certainly piqued my interest. Sounds like a winner to me.