Excerpt from My Name is Not Friday by Jon Walter, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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My Name is Not Friday

by Jon Walter

My Name is Not Friday by Jon Walter X
My Name is Not Friday by Jon Walter
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2016, 384 pages
    May 2017, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Bradley Sides

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Chapter 1

I know that I'm with God.

He's with me in the darkness. He's close to me.

Not real close.

But close enough I know He's there.


I can feel Him—so I know He must be.

It was Him that brought me here.

At least, I think He did. Only it ain't what I was expecting.

I never thought it'd be dark here—but it is. It's real dark. Pitchdark.And it can't be nighttime 'cause there's birds singing. There's ablackbird and a sparrow. There's all sorts. And them birds don't singat night.

'Cept maybe they do in heaven. Maybe they sing here all the time.

If I shift my head, it hurts me inside and out. So I don't try to move.I stay as still as I can.

It's kinda damp here in the darkness. I got it up inside my nose. Amusky smell. Like fur. Like rabbit. Yeah, maybe it's like a rabbit.And there's another smell, a whiff of old shoes, like when youwear 'em for too long after they get wet. But I ain't wearing shoes. Ileft 'em in the Sunday box and they ain't no good to me there. Notanymore.

I can feel the dust beneath my toes.

And there's a bag on my head. The cloth's against my cheek.That's the reason I can't see my feet. I got a bag on my head that'sbeen used to carry rabbits.

I still don't move a muscle. But in my skin, in my head and myheart, I panic. I feel like a cornered rat, scrambling up againstthe wall of a deep, dark cellar, breathing fast enough I could've runa mile.

So I say to slow down, Samuel.

Slow down now and calm yourself. Take one step at a time. Giveyourself the time to think this thing through.

I know I'm lying down. I got a sense of me stretched out uponthe ground and it feels like I'm lying on twigs and stuff. Yeah, I'msure I am. I got one sticking in my side and my hands are forcedaround behind my back and my wrists are sore 'cause of the ropethat's tying 'em close together. My arms ache too, all up around theshoulders.

I try to move an arm—start to wriggle and twist.

And that's when I hear the footsteps, coming over to me on thehard ground, making me freeze like a rabbit in a trap, 'cause all Ican think is that God's coming, that it's the foot of God upon theground and He's coming for me. He's coming. And He's wearing bigboots.

Well, He lifts me up. My Lord, He lifts me up. He's got big hands.He's got strong arms. He flips me on my back and then flips meagain, laying me over a mule like I'm some big ol' bag of potatoes. Iknow it's a mule 'cause it snorts when He lays me upon its back, likeit's tired of me already. That's mules for you. Always complaining.Even in heaven.

When He walks away, He don't go far. I hear Him moseyingabout in the bushes, shuffling around like He's collecting thingstogether, putting pots inside of other pots, that sort of thing. There'sthe creak of a leather strap being tightened on a saddlebag.

I'm finding it difficult to breathe now I'm slung over a mulewith my hands behind my back. My chest begins to hurt and Ihave to take tiny little breaths that don't fill me up with enoughgood air.

Why's God want to put me on a mule? And why'd He need totie me up? We made a deal, Him and me, but this ain't what Iexpected.

I can't ask Him. That's the last thing I can do. It'd show a lack offaith, and I can't show any weakness. Not now. I won't show anydoubt in my darkest hour. And so I don't say a thing. I just lie whereI am, listening to Him walk around in the bushes, the twigs allsnapping under His big clomping boots. One time He stops, standsstill a while, and relieves Himself upon the ground.

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Excerpted from My Name is Not Friday by Jon Walter. Copyright © 2016 by Jon Walter. Excerpted by permission of David Fickling Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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