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The Roost

by Neil Butler

Drink drugs and sex seem to rule the lives of a group of Shetland secondary school students. They think they are worldly but relationships are so tricky, and the isolation and magic of the islands complicate everything. Sharp perceptive and scary, these linked stories of angst should carry a worry warning for readers with a teen or preteen in the family, but read them anyway for a reminder of what it's like to be that young.

Extract

I walked in, in control, relaxed and smiling. Except, I didn't know the layout of the shop and the assistant was looking at me. Hurriedly, I grabbed something - red wine - and carried it to the counter with a smile.
The old woman on the till said 'Can I see dy ID?'
She didn't even let me try!
'But, I - I'm - uh I left it at home.'
'I canna serve thee wi no ID.'
'But I - '
'Anyway, du's no 18. Du's no even 17, if I'm any judge.'
'Well, fuck you! Fuck you! You know I need this! I just broke up with my grlfriend! And - what if all my family were dead in a fire? Would you leave me to mental collapse because I'm not old enough for help?'

Parallels

Ten Story Love Song by Richard Milward
The Catcher In The Rye by J D Salinger
 

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