Size of a Fist

By Tara Gereaux

Size of a Fist
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Living in a small working class town has never suited Addy, so after a summer working as a janitor at the local hospital, she is more than ready to move to the city. When the night before her move finally arrives, Addy’s bags are packed, she has visited all her favourite spots ... Read more


Overview

Living in a small working class town has never suited Addy, so after a summer working as a janitor at the local hospital, she is more than ready to move to the city. When the night before her move finally arrives, Addy’s bags are packed, she has visited all her favourite spots one last time, and she has even attempted to make amends with her single mother. Her rough-around-the-edges boyfriend Craig, however, wants to make their final night in town one to remember, so they head out to the cemetery with friends for one last party.

At the cemetery, Addy notices a boy named Jonas hovering in the bushes. The rest of her friends think he is eavesdropping, but Addy knows the younger teen is visiting his recently deceased mother’s grave. When a game of chicken escalates and Jonas is struck by the truck Addy and her friends are driving, guilt causes Addy to feel responsible for healing the boy’s injuries and his grief, and she vows to help him escape his violent home. As their lives become further intertwined, Addy realizes her connection to Jonas is more than platonic, and she must decide whether she wants to leave for the city with Craig or follow her heart down another path.

Size of a Fist is a dark, gritty novella about growing up in difficult circumstances where abuse and hopelessness are ever-present. The suggestion of violence hovers beneath the surface of every relationship in this harsh tale of self-preservation and personal discovery. Addy must navigate her entry into the cruel world of adulthood alone, discovering along the way the sacrifice involved in truly following her heart and taking responsibility for her actions. This gripping thriller exposes the hearts of its teenage dreamers as they attempt to outrun the law and their respective pasts.

Tara Gereaux

Tara Gereaux is a Métis from the Qu’Appelle Valley who spent her childhood years in Fort Qu’Appelle and her teen years in Winnipeg. She studied screenwriting at York University and Creative Writing and UBC and has worked as a researcher, writer, and story editor in film and television. Gereaux’s fiction and creative non-fiction has been published in several Canadian literary magazines, and she won Event Magazine’s 14th Annual Creative Non-fiction Competition as well as several other screenwriting and non-fiction awards. Size of a Fist is her first novel. Gereaux lives in Regina.

Excerpt

Addy and Craig sit in the middle of the worn suspension bridge. There are large, jagged rocks below – the water’s all dried up. They hang in silence.

“He’s gonna be all right.”

“We don’t know that.”

“You were already braking . . . the car wasn’t going that fast.”

“Fuck! That was so fuckin’ stupid! What’s he gonna say to the cops?”

“If he’s smart he’ll tell them the truth – it was an accident.”

“Was it?”

“’Course it was. Tyler and everyone will back us up.” Craig puts his arm around her. Pulls her to him. “That kid’s a little fucked up anyway. No one’ll believe him.”

Addy wants to be convinced, but still. “I didn’t mean to . . . I was just . . . I don’t know why I did it.”

“It’s over. Besides, we’re out of here tomorrow. We’re gone. And hey,” his voice softens, “I love you.” When she shifts away, he lets her go, hurt. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.”

He’s quiet for a moment. “Let’s get outta here. Let’s go back to your place and sleep for a few hours.” He takes her hand, tugs on it, but again she pulls away. “We can go to my place, then.” He waits. “Well, where do you want to go?”

“I kinda feel like being alone.”

“Fine, I’ll pick you up in the morning.”

She watches him walk away angry. She doesn’t stop him.

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