Excerpt of Cover The Butter by Carrie Kabak
(Page 3 of 7)
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"They should sack that wanker."
"along with three French hens, two turtle doves, and a condom
in a pear tree."
I think I was pretty drunk by then.
"Rod," I said, "I feel a bit sick. I think I'll sleep on the
I made a bed with a quilt and pillow. When Velcro
settled on my tummy, I closed my eyes and drifted onto the deck of a
ship that bobbed and dipped, and when it lurched, I slipped into
rolling waves. Water gurgled in my ears, but within minutes I shot to
the surface and drank in air inside the kitchen of 75 Copper Lane.
I climbed a spiral stairway, because I saw a tiny door
at the very top. I stumbled up the steps, fighting for breath because
the atmosphere was heavier than lead. There was a table next to the
door, with a key lying on it. But when I reached out, it vanished.
Searching for somewhere to escape, I saw a hole full of light, but the
soil crumbled when I tried to scramble out, and I fell down, down, and
dirt filled my mouth and I couldn't shout out. I heard the hollow drip
of water and down, down, I went.
PART ONE: THE SIXTIES
Chapter 1: 1965
Saturday, April 17
33 Cherry Blossom Road, Dorton,
United Kingdom, Europe, Planet Earth
I bite my lip. "Can I have a suspender belt instead?"
My mother, Biddy, runs her nail along the top of a
packet to split open the cellophane. "You need a girdle for support,"
she says, pulling out a corset the color of salmon-paste. "And take
that look off your face. It's a beautiful foundation garment." She
pats her fresh hairdo, a lacquered helmet, before opening a second
Spirals of stitching, three sets of hooks, powernet
panels, and longline, too.
It's one hell of a bra.
"Try it on," she says.
I fasten it at the front, swivel it around, and pull
the wide straps over my shoulders.
My first bra, and I loathe it.
"Mum, I really don't think I have enough to fill these cones
"They're called cups, Kate, and sure, the size is only a small
"The other girls have trainer bras."
"Fine. And in two months they'll all need a good brassiere
Snatching Biddy's shopping bag from the floor to see
what else she bought, all I find are a couple of pastel twinsets, a
pair of brown stirrup pants, and what's this? Drop earrings. All for
her, nothing cool for me. A cheap shift dress would have been okay,
one of those polka-dot ones with a Peter Pan collar.
Or a trainer bra.
"Kate, stop poking inside my bag."
I pull out a leaflet before I stop poking. It shows a busty
blonde skipping around Piccadilly Circus wearing nothing but my salmon-paste
set. "With the firmest control," she says, eyebrows arched, teeth
flashing, "my Cross Your Heart bra shapes
and my girdle flattens."
"Hey, Mum, did you see this? "Shapes and flattens with the
firmest control.' "
Cover the Butter by Carrie Kabak, pages 1-13, with permission from Dutton, a
member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Copyright © 20054 by Carrie Kabak.
All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be
reproduced without permission.