by Lloyd Johnson
The Dog Catcher is the story about Cheryl Greene’s choices in men, and how those choices dismantle her life. She’s someone to root for because her intentions are good. She doesn’t dive into drama just for drama’s sake. There is a lot of growth in her arc. She’s a woman most can identify with, in her struggles.
Plez Jackson is evil personified, though that isn’t what we see when we meet him. But he is beguiling enough to make this woman lose herself to him. He has a method to stripping Cheryl down. Plus, his brutality, anger and unpredictability keeps the reader on edge. Plez is a villain that many women have known. He stays with you long after the last page is turned.
Cheryl Green thinks she’s found perfection in sexy Plez Jackson. But she soon finds what she thinks is perfection…is hardly that! Can she teach this DOG new tricks? Or will she leave him where she found him, wagging his tail?
Chapter One: The Dog Catcher by Lloyd Johnson
Let me go ahead and put it out there; men are ridiculous. Worse than that, they’re dogs. They all start biting sooner or later. All the men in my life have been dogs. My daddy, dog number one, is probably the grandfather of all hounds. He finally stopped beating my mama when I turned 15, around the time we moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, from Jackson, Mississippi.
Mama got a job as a surgical tech at Mount Sinai Hospital, but Daddy could barely hold a job that first year. Instead, he spent his days at some bar, usually the Spruce, chasing butt. Not a day went by that Mama and us kids weren’t finding some strange woman’s earrings or watch in the car. One time I found some lady’s nasty panties underneath the car seat. After awhile, Mama stopped letting on that she knew what was happening, even though we knew she knew. She was from that generation where marriage really was, “Till death do us part.” But that meant putting up with all the bullshit in between.
I don’t know how she made it through all of that. Maybe it was her faith in God. She believed that everything was possible through Him. Yeah, everything but my daddy keeping his pants zipped.
By the time I turned 16, I’d had enough. Mama kept turning her head to what was going on, and Daddy wasn’t even trying to hide the women he was laying up with.
I got so fed up, I wanted to ask Mama why she didn’t leave him. At that point she was practically supporting us all by herself, so it’s not like she needed him for anything. But I knew she’d say that I needed to stay in a child’s place. That’s one of the things I hated about my mama. She never took the time to explain anything. If she told you to do something, you couldn’t ask why, because she would just say, “Because I said so, damn it!”
When my body first started changing, I don’t think she even took the time to explain what I was going through, or what I could expect. The day I first got my period, I was scared. I didn’t know why there was blood in my panties. When I told her, all she said was, “Oh, you’re startin’ to get your service once a month.” Then she went into the closet and fished out a pad and said, “Here, use that.”
Daddy had been getting paid under the table, working as a second-rate fix-it-man around the neighborhood, but finally got a real job unloading trucks downtown. I was just as glad because instead of him being home all day, telling me how no good I was, he’d work all day and hang out at the bar all night. But when he was liquored-up I’d hear it.
One night, I got up to get a drink of water from the kitchen. When I went downstairs I overheard Daddy telling Mama how I had all kinds of boyfriends. “Ain’t you noticed anything different about your daughter?” Daddy asked, deep in the booze.
“Which daughter you talkin’ about, Joshua? Cheryl or Marva?”
“I’m talkin’ about Cheryl. You don’t see nothin’ wrong with her wearin’ all that makeup?”
“Well, she’s gettin’ to that age, Joshua. She don’t wear nothin’ but a little lip rouge,” Mama said.
“She’s gonna be a tramp. You mark my words,” Daddy said, taking another swig of booze.
I snuck back upstairs and went to the bathroom to run my hand under the faucet and drink some water. Then I got into bed and cried myself to sleep, because it was sad to live under the same roof with folks who were supposed to be family, and yet they didn’t even know me. If my parents had taken the time to ask me, they would’ve known there was only one person I cared about; dog number two, and his name was Diallo Washington.
( Continued… )
*NOTE* The following excerpt has been modified from its original text and is suitable for general audiences.
© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Lloyd Johnson. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.Purchase The Dog Catcher by Lloyd Johnson
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