For Cory’s Sake July Virtual Book Tour | Guest Post by Carolyn Wada
I struggled for a while over whether to publish this commitment; which I eventually did, on the back cover of my novel For Cory’s Sake. I decided, in the end, that my public concern for this real world issue would help give context to my book, and my book would give me opportunity to talk about my real world concern.
I’d like to share why I care, today; using a method borrowed from my novel. William Bentler is a character from For Cory’s Sake. He once wrote a story called Imagine Roci, a fictional story based on reality. It was a way to elicit thought about real people enslaved by fear and violence, on William’s planet of Cory.
The following story is fictional. The heroine is in a very difficult situation, through no fault of her own. She is smart, independent and resourceful; but I’m sure she would like to find a trustworthy place to turn.
I would like to live in a world where all children in very difficult situations can access a trustworthy place to turn: for information, help, support and whatever they may need to reclaim childhoods and move on to bright futures.
Kerry felt a flash of irritation. She had been trying not to know the time. But the candy store had a clock with a soda company logo and a big bright-red digital time display, and Kerry had looked at it and had read the time.
Kerry was really bored with this mall. She knew pretty much everything that was sold in every electronics, hobby, entertainment and novelty store in the mall, by now, and she wasn’t really into clothes. Really, if Mom would let her, she’d prefer to wear baggy boy’s clothes all the time. And glasses. Kerry had taken a free eye exam a couple of weeks ago, but had been disappointed to learn that she possessed perfect eyesight.
Kerry walked over to a bench, slid her backpack off of one shoulder, and dropped herself and the pack onto the bench. She opened her pack and got out her calculator. Her calculator had a sliding cover, which could lock over the face of the calculator or over the back. For the past two weeks, Kerry had kept the cover locked over the back of the calculator. Now she slid the cover just enough, and glanced at the Bus Pass, which was nestled between the cover and the back of the calc. Light glinted off of a reflective blue strip at her.
Hope and freedom in a 2 x 2.5 card.
Kerry began to vaguely click the cover of the calculator: slightly open and slightly shut, slightly open and slightly shut, over and over and over again. The calculator represented Kerry’s first stab at hope and freedom, though the acquiring of it had been a disturbing process. Kerry had felt that she had to have the calculator so she could join the math club so she could spend less time home alone with Mom’s boyfriend while Mom was working her night job. Mom’s boyfriend had moved in last year, and Kerry had learned quickly and vividly and memorably that he was a jerk and a dirty creep, and had immediately begun to think incessantly about how to avoid him as much as at all possible.
Kerry had almost choked on her cereal when the boyfriend had said, sweetly, in front of Mom, that Kerry was too pretty to be a nerd when Mom had told the boyfriend that Kerry had been begging for a calculator, of all things. Then the boyfriend had gotten Kerry a calculator, as a gift, and Kerry had accepted it even though she feared what this would do to his attitude. And she had joined the math club as a way to delay going home on school days. (And she was now undefeated in individual competition for the year . . .)
But there were still a lot of hours between the end of practice and when Mom got home at 10:00, and Kerry had begun to feel very sick and tired of her life and then two weeks ago she had seen the bus pass, just sitting on the top of a tuft of grass, light glinting off of its holographic face; and she had picked it up, and looked at it, and thought, and then changed direction and walked to the bus station. She had ridden into the city and exited the bus across from the library. She had stayed at the library until it closed at 9, then rode the bus back to her town getting off a few blocks away from her home and sneaked into her room a little before Mom got home. She had then repeated this commute every school day since her bus pass had been found.
But this particular day was a weekend day, and the library as usual had closed at 5, and Kerry as usual had made her way to the mall to try to occupy four hours of time. Kerry was really bored with the mall, by now, but it was big and full and easy to pass through unnoticed, even repeatedly, because it was a mall. It was even convenient, in this setting, that Kerry looked like she could be a teenagerâ€”since if she looked her age maybe she would have raised someone’s curiosity by now, and messed everything up.
Kerry put away her calculator, rose from the bench, slung her backpack over her right shoulder and began to walk very slowly towards an electronics store. She spent fifteen minutes reading little signs with numbers with decimals on it, and MHz and GHz and other gibberish and then she moved on, slowly, to another store of (slight) interest and the stores were bringing down their security gates, and walked in a small crowd towards the bus station. She rode about half of the way home in a thoughtless fog until she passed a billboard telling the date and time and temperature and automatically read the date. Her bus pass would expire in four days, now, and Kerry began to think again about what she was going to do after that . . .
Reality, for Roci, is bleak. His planet of Cory is enslaved by Fear of a Bomb. He has never had a family. His nearly perfected passive-aggressive behavior keeps him in constant trouble at the factory.
Roci copes by inventing stories about the family in which he might have lived had there never been a Bomb, or about the people who might â€œat this very moment be trying to save Roci’s planet of Cory.
For Cory’s Sake is the story of a family trying to save Roci’s planet of Cory.