Title: White Chalk
Author: Pavarti K Tyler
Published: July 2013
Word Count: 65,000
Genre: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age
Content Warning: Adult themes and sexual content
Age Recommendation: 15+
Chelle isn’t a typical 13-year-old girl—she doesn’t laugh with friends, play sports, or hang out at the mall after school. Instead, she navigates a world well beyond her years.
Life in Dawson, ND spins on as she grasps at people, pleading for someone to save her—to return her to the simple childhood of unicorns on her bedroom wall and stories on her father’s knee.
When Troy Christiansen walks into her life, Chelle is desperate to believe his arrival will be her salvation. So much so, she forgets to save herself. After experiencing a tragedy at school, her world begins to crack, causing a deeper scar in her already fragile psyche.
Follow Chelle’s twisted tale of modern adolescence, as she travels down the rabbit hole into a reality none of us wants to admit actually exists.
Excerpt from White Chalk by Pavarti K Tyler:
Morgan huffed and turned her back on me. Just as she stepped toward the door to retrieve her bag it swung open, revealing my father swaying in the sunlight. His glazed eyes looked her over and a crooked smile appeared on his lips.
“What’re you doin’ ‘ere?” He slurred, lumbering through the door and closing it behind him.
“Hi, Mr. Whitney.”
“‘ey there pretty thing. ‘R you ‘ere to visit my Chelle? Michelle ma Belle? But she’s not nearly as pretty as you now, is she?” He leaned against the dining room table, letting his weight settle to one side of his body. With one hand he reached forward to touch Morgan’s face, but she drew away before he made contact.
“Dad, this is Morgan. Remember?”
“Nope.” He popped the “p” at the end of the word and winked his blue eyes at her. A smile spread across his face, a look that probably got him any woman he wanted when he was out.
It made me throw up a little in my mouth. “My friend Morgan?”
I stepped in front of him, blocking his laser focus on her chest. She slunk behind me. Her discomfort vibrated from her body, joining my embarrassment until the air around us crackled with tension.
“You ain’t got any friends,” he sneered, craning his head to see behind me. “Certainly ain’t got none that look so sweet. Come ‘ere baby, tell me what yer doin’ ‘ere.”
“I’m….” Morgan shook her head, silently pleading with me for help.
“She’s just leaving, Dad. Leave her alone. Why don’t you get another beer?”
“You think you can tell me what to do?” He lumbered toward me, stopping close enough for me to smell the cigarettes and beer on his breath. “Just like yer Ma, always thinkin’ you know best.”
With his focus off Morgan, she was able to sneak past and grab her bag. “See you later,” she blurted before whipping open the door and rushing out.
“She’s a pretty girl,” Dad muttered, staring after her, his eyes distant.
I grabbed my snack from the coffee table and hurried toward my room.
“A real pretty girl.” His words slurred, his heavy lids began to lower, and the couch groaned when he flopped down to pass out.
My door was heavy, but I held the handle so it would close without a sound.
Award-winning author of multi-cultural and transgressive literature, Pavarti K. Tyler is an artist, wife, mother and number cruncher. She graduated Smith College in 1999 with a degree in Theatre. After graduation, she moved to New York, where she worked as a Dramaturge, Assistant Director and Production Manager on productions both on and off Broadway. Later, Pavarti went to work in the finance industry for several international law firms.
She now lives with her husband, two daughters, and two terrible dogs. She keeps busy working
with fabulous authors as the Director of Marketing at Novel Publicity, and by penning her next novel.
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● Print Copy of White Chalk (US Only)