Title: The Quirky Tale of April Hale
Author: Cathy Octo
Genre: Young Adult
Tall, dark, and mysterious—Ryder Black is everything a girl wants. The catch? He’s trouble. Naturally, he’s irresistibly charming. Surprisingly, he’s impressively academic, too. But it’s his knack for getting into fights that makes him notorious.
Dorky, clumsy, and just plain odd—April Hale talks like Yoda, eats her food based on the day of the week, and prefers binge watching TV shows to partying. She has also spent the past few years eavesdropping on the Blacks’ morning fights. It was her daily routine. Until that one morning that Ryder catches her looking into his bedroom window… and she becomes all but anonymous in his eyes.
Hell-bent on making contact, Ryder gets a sneak peek into the quirky world of April when she stuffs all of her fingers in her mouth and faints the first time he talks to her.
She’s unusual. He’s captivated.
In this delightfully wacky and fun story, we discover that sometimes what makes us outcasts from the world are the very things that make us special. Join April and Ryder in their journey to discovering more about life… and about each other. It will give you butterflies in the stomach, tickle your funny bones, and pull at your heartstrings until the very last page.
“Ryder ‘Heart-Stopping’ Black at two o clock, approaching us in alarming velocity!” Corinne was panicking.
“Oh my God, he looks so cute.” Since Corrine and Marcy were mostly associated with books and the whiteboard, the closest thing that they could count as contact with the male was when they were dissecting frogs.
They didn’t know how to react around boys, especially the confident ones. Marcy would resort on twiddling endlessly at her sweaters and sputtering random Tumblr quotes. Corinne, on the other hand, would go to a total frozen state, and was only capable of talking in Science lingo.
As for me, Quentin often had his hormone-crazed, rambunctious friends over so I could manage boys better than them. But Ryder Black was different. The closest I’d ever been from him was ten meters, and anything closer than that?
I went into a Yoda-mode.
“Stars, my darned.” Said I.
“Hey.” Ryder’s voice was now behind me.
The total lack of commotion that my friends emitted confirmed me that both of them had already spiraled into temporary brain deaths.
I stared at the wall. Ryder didn’t say my name, so there was still possibilities that he was trying to talk with someone else. Maybe someone a little more normal. Maybe someone who hadn’t just witnessed the way he and his family bickered earlier this morning.
“Hey.” He tried again.
Closer, this time, and I could practically feel his breath fanned my back.
“Idon’tknowanyneighborsIwon’ttellanyonewhatIsaw, don’t kill me, please!” I was shaking all over due to fear that blossomed uncontrollably fast.
There was no record of Ryder hitting women, but everyone was talking about how good he was at transforming people’s faces into unrecognizable pulps. My face quality certainly wasn’t as good as Emma Watson, but I didn’t want my face to turn into a blob of pulp.
“What the hell are you talking about?” Ryder put a hand on my shoulder and spun me around, so that I was facing him.
He wrinkled his nose a bit, when he saw that all ten of my fingers were inside my mouth in a sad attempt to control the quivering of my mouth.
“You can.. You can take out all of your fingers, Neighbor. I’m not going to bite.” He said, mildly amused and mildly disgusted at the same time.
I took out all of my fingers, slowly.
“Now, we need to talk.” He said again, slower this time, as if he was trying to communicate with a starfish.
And boy, I did feel like a starfish at this very moment.
“Oh-uh.” I shook my head.
“No. Please? Scared I am. Talk we never.” I hated myself for letting my Yoda-mode take over me like that.
“It’s about this morning.” He took a glance at my friends, both were gaping at him and in the verge of drooling.
“Can I kidnap your friend for five minutes? It’s kinda important.” Neither Marcy or Corinne looked like they were capable of answering.
“Cool.” Ryder said, before then, he once again shocked me to the oblivion by grabbing my elbow, and dragging me with him.
It was even worse than I imagined. I thought that we were going to talk in the corner, but he went deeper than that. When I thought we were going to have audience for our talking at the stairs, he went even deeper than that.
A few minutes, lots of tugging, and three near-death-experiences by heart failure later, the word ‘Janitor’ was approximately one meter above my head, and I stared at the door with aghast horror.
We were going to talk in the Janitor’s closet. As the realization was sinking in, I felt every hair on my body falling out. This place was legendary, not because of the smell, but because of the history that it preserved. This was where a lot of relationship was made. This was where a lot of innocence was lost. This was where women turned insane, and men showed their demons.
And Ryder wanted me to talk with him here.
“Let’s talk here.” Ryder said. “We’ll have privacy.”
My whole existence wasn’t built for this.
In my whole seventeen years of living, I hadn’t spent even one second preparing myself for this kind of experience. Talking with boys was a chore. Talking with bad boys was a torture. Talking with bad boys in a very secluded, very historical area, was… Well, it was pandemonium.
And so my defense-mechanism took over, and I did something I never thought I would.
I fell into Ryder’s arms, and the moment my head crashed against his chest, I lost consciousness.
So much for talking to the Bad Boy for the first time.
Part writer, part illustrator. Cathy’s life has always been filled with imagination and stories that will keep her up all night. For years, Cathy had read and written lots of stories, stemming from a deep love for flawed characterizations and interesting relationship dynamics. Finally, she started posting on Wattpad before getting discovered by BLVNP. Aside from writing, Cathy draws quite a bit and also plays a ridiculous amount of Dota 2.