Excerpt from ‘How I Murdered Lucrezia’ (Arlen House)
She had this pristine thing going on, like she was made of porcelain, you know, and I wanted to be her friend, but she just didn’t like anything about me, so me and the boy who once got together with her – and I mean really together – well, we talked and I said it wasn’t fair that some people thought they were better than us , and he said he thought the same. Then I said, my Dad’s got a gun somewhere and we could shoot her if you like, and he laughed, you know the way you laugh when you’re not supposed to really want something but deep down that’s all you want? So I waited until my parents were out somewhere and I went to the shoe box in the back of my mom’s closet and I took the gun and I put the bullets in and then I took it to the boy, and I said to him, ‘you’ve got to do it because she broke your heart and that means more that her breaking mine.
I thought it was romantic. So we waited until the girl was in the playground just after recess and everybody was on the way back to class and he called her name. ‘Lucrezia,’ just like that and she whipped back her black hair like you see in the cartoons and he shot her right through her chest. She could have survived if the bullet had splintered into her lungs, into everywhere really, and I was close by so I heard her die.
‘If a very early-career Ian McEwan got together with Franz Kafka and Flannery O’Connor and somehow a lovechild resulted, and that lovechild grew up to be a writer, I think that writer might be Órla Foyle.’ Alan McMonagle (Ithaca – Picador)