Little Crew of Butchers by Francine Pascal
English | 2020 | General Fiction/Classics | ePUB | 3.6 MB
“A free license given to all acts of inhumanity and lust…this execrable crew of butchers.”-Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift
Lucas Baird never got much of a break when he was a child, but by his early twenties, his good looks and easy manner allow him to skate through life without having to put in much effort. On the cusp of manhood in years yet still a boy-what Anthony Trollope called a hobbledehoy-charming Luke has enjoyed his extended adolescence of drinking and small-time cons. But when a freak accident compels him to leave LA-and leave fast-he finds himself in New York, in the seemingly idyllic Long Island beach town of Shorelane, where through a drunken mistake, he becomes trapped in a life-or-death ordeal. Luke’s only potential saviors are a group of local children, who are themselves lost and destined for paths much the same as Luke’s-if not worse-and a young woman, equally lost. For Luke to finally cross into manhood, he will have to come to terms with his own poor judgment and mortality, and find the courage to stay sane in the face of irrational actors.
Reminiscent of The Beach and Lord of the Flies, Little Crew of Butchers is a masterful tale of the innocent savagery of children, but also of the redemptive power of love and courage, and the wisdom that comes from truly growing up.
“Yeah, c’mon …” Dennis, the other twin, does an echo thing. He’s the taller twin and he has dark hair and one of his eyes is blue and the other one is brown. Some twins; they didn’t even look like brothers.
But they do everything Larry says and always agree with him even when they don’t mean it. Even so, he’s still mean to them. And when he’s mean to just one of them, like Benny when he bent his thumb way back, Dennis didn’t do anything to stop him.
“Shut up!” Charley can say that to Benny, but he would never dare say it to Big Larry.
“Get a shirt with long sleeves, like a sweatshirt,” Larry says.
“But it’s hot.”
“I told you, we’re going to Smilers for supplies. Don’t you get it?”
But Charley is so nervous he doesn’t get it. Big Larry always makes him so he can’t think straight. And in that moment he’s starting to panic, and then Lucy pulls at his shirt and whispers, “The sleeves. To put the stuff in.”
And then he remembers. “Yeah, I get it,” Charley says. “I just didn’t know if you wanted sweatshirts for everyone,” he makes a stab at a cover-up.
But Big Larry’s not buying. “Yeah, right.” And to show him how much he’s not buying it, he gives him a whack upside the head with the heel of his hand. Hard enough to send Charley falling back into Dennis who slams up against the wall.
“Hey! Watch out!” Dennis shouts and shoves Charley who shoves him back.
“Cool it, you two!” Big Larry says, and then to Charley, “You don’t have a sweatshirt, forget it, you’re not coming.”
Nothing would make Charley happier than not going with Big Larry on the shoplifting caper. He hates doing it, not because it’s stealing but because he gets so panicky his hands shake and he’s always dropping stuff. He knows he’s going to get caught and his parents will go through the roof. Besides, he never steals anything he really wants. Mostly it’s little things like screws or washers, whatever they are, or even worse, girl things. He only steals stuff that he can easily scoop up his sleeve. If they get anything good, Big Larry keeps it.
One time, Dennis snatched an electric foot smoother. It was winter and he had on this big down jacket so he shoved it underneath. Even Big Larry made a big deal of it, patting him on the back, probably too hard, but Dennis was over the moon to be the hero of the day. Except nobody could figure out what to do with it so they junked it in the garbage. But first, Big Larry made them destroy it, rip it apart and smash the pieces.
Charley tries to look disappointed about not going with them. And like a good sport, he shrugs, “It’s okay, I’ll go next time.”