As I prepare Colourful People, the fourth book in the Boy &Girl Saga, for publication, I’ve re-worked the covers of all the books. See the new face of the Boy & Girl Saga above. You also get a glimpse at the cover of the new book. As a bonus, below is an extract from early on in Colourful People. Gino, a transgender boy, is on the run with his friend Sis, escaping his parents who want to lock him up in a psychiatric clinic to ‘set him right’. He is seriously ill when the Lost Girls rescue him, but, thanks to Kate’s healing abilities, he is saved from pneumonia. This extract begins with them in a temporary safe haven.
Extract from Colourless People
“(…) My name’s Gino. I’m a boy,” he insisted. “I’ve always known I was. But this damned body contradicts me at every turn. Imagine how you’d feel waking up every morning to find you’re a prisoner in a body that is completely alien to you. It’s enough to drive you mad. There are times when I wish I could take a knife to it and carve out the parts that don’t belong. It’s a nightmare. Why me? Why did God decide to torture me?”
He burst into tears at which Sis took him in her arms, cradling him, whispering words of endearment. When he finally calmed, Kate asked, “What are we to do with you?”
Mistaking her question as a reference to a ‘cure’, he replied angrily, “Leave me alone. Why does everyone want to change me?”
“I’m not your mother,” Kate replied, her tone firm. “I’m certainly not suggesting some form of ‘cure’. Rather, the way I see it, you have several immediate needs. You need a safe place to live where you are protected from your parents efforts to ‘realign’ you. You need other people like Sis here, to keep you company, with whom you can discuss the joys and tribulations of the journey you’re on and learn from each other. I also think you need medical care.”
When the boy stiffened at the mention of medecine, she hastened to add, “You’ve been subjected to all sorts of violent treatment which has done you no good. Some work will be needed to set that right. Sunshine, good food and exercise will help, not to mention friendship. Finally, you need access to experimental hormones that temporarily halt the development of sexual characteristics, like, for example, the growth of breasts while you decide what to do next.”
“Talk about dreaming!” he exclaimed. “I doubt such a place exists anywhere, let alone here in Lucern.”
“I’d have to talk to the other Lost Girls to see if they agree, but I reckon we could offer you just such a place.”
Gino looked at her in disbelief. “I don’t know what you’re playing at…” he began.
“I’m deadly serious,” Kate interrupted. “In your case, it really could be a question of life and death.”
“Listen, my life has been a long series of cruel deceptions, so I couldn’t bear it if your promises, as tempting as they are, turned out to be empty.”
“I can’t promise it’ll be easy, either for you, or for us, but I’m sure we can offer the protection, the company and the care you need.”
“Let’s go then,” Gino said.
“There are several reasons why we can’t,” she replied.
“You see,” Gino spluttered. “Hardly a minute has gone by than you are already breaking your promises.”
“I’m pleased to see you are getting back some of your fighting spirit,” Kate said with a grin. “But there really are good reasons. Foremost is the fact that your mother and a hoard of policemen are currently swarming over the Lost Girls Village.”
Gino turned deathly pale and gripped the edge of the bed for support. “I knew she’d find me,” he said, his voice coming out as a strangled whisper. “There’s no escaping the bloody witch.”
“Let me point out,” Kate said, “she hasn’t found anything. You are not yet in our village. As soon as I get word she’s left, we can go there. The other reason is that you are still not on top form. With your permission, I’d like to see if I can do anything about the damage that has been done to you.”
Sceptical, Gino looked around. “I see no medical equipment.”
“We need no equipment.”
“I saw them at work,” Sis burst out, brimming with enthusiasm. “They just lay a hand on you, and it works. You were in a terrible state what with the illness and the cold, but Kate brought you back and drove the illness away. I wish I could do that.”