Chapter Excerpt

Flirtin' with the Monster

Life was good

before I

met

the monster.

After,

life

was great.

At

least

for a little while.

Text copyright © 2004 by Ellen Hopkins

Introduction

So you want to know all

about me. Who

I am.

What chance meeting of

brush and canvas painted

the face

you see? What made

me despise the girl

in the mirror

enough to transform her,

turn her into a stranger,

only not.

So you want to hear

the whole story. Why

I swerved

off the high road,

hard left to nowhere,

recklessly

indifferent to those

coughing my dust,

picked up speed

no limits, no top end,

just a high velocity rush

to madness.

Text copyright © 2004 by Ellen Hopkins

Alone

everything changes.

Some might call it distorted reality,

but it's exactly the place I need to be:

no mom,

Marie, ever more distant,

in her midlife quest for fame

no stepfather,

Scott, stern and heavy-handed

with unattainable expectations

no big sister,

Leigh, caught up in a tempest

of uncertain sexuality

no little brother,

Jake, spoiled and shameless

in his thievery of my niche.

Alone,

there is only the person inside.

I've grown to like her better

than the stuck-up husk of me. She's

not quite silent,

shouts obscenities just because

they roll so well off the tongue

not quite straight-A,

but talented in oh-so-many

enviable ways

not quite sanitary,

farts with gusto, picks

her nose, spits like a guy

not quite sane,

sometimes, to tell you the truth,

even I wonder about her.

Alone,

there is no perfect daughter,

no gifted high-school junior,

no Kristina Georgia Snow.

There is only Bree.

Text copyright © 2004 by Ellen Hopkins

On Bree

I suppose

she's always been

there, vague as a soft

copper pulse of moonlight

through blossoming seacoast

fog.

I wonder

when I first noticed

her, slipping in and out

of my pores, hide-and-seek

spider in fieldstone, red-bellied

phantom.

I summon

Bree when dreams

no longer satisfy, when

gentle clouds of monotony

smother thunder, when Kristina

cries.

I remember

the night I first

let her go, opened the

smeared glass, one thin pane,

cellophane between rules and sin,

freed.

Text copyright © 2004 by Ellen Hopkins


Excerpted from Crank by Ellen Hopkins
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.