We’re excited to present chapter one of Barking Up the Wrong Tree, the first serialized email story from Frederator Books! Written by Nicky DePaul and illustrated by Adam Fay, both of Los Angeles, this 10-part series invites readers to laugh and learn along with Brigitte as she attempts to navigate the pitfalls of modern romance. The series will be sent out via email every Tuesday for ten weeks.
“Bye, have a great weekend!” Brigitte darted out of the office. “Thank Anubis. What a week,” she muttered. Her map app showed solid red. Woof. What’s a girl to do but play Bite the Bone at red lights?
HONK. She startled up from the screen in time to see an angry Collie flip her the paw. “Ah, sorry! Damn, almost beat my high score.”
- - -
Brigitte swung into her parking spot and hurried up the stairs so fast she almost ran into her next-door neighbor, Kenny, a tuxedo cat.
“Oh, I’m so sorry!” she said.
“It’s cool. What’s the rush?”
“Nice. Any plans?”
“A hot date at nine p.m.”
“With Lap Confessions!”
“Yack, shows like that are pure hairball if you ask me.”
“Oh yeah, what’s better?”
“I don’t have a TV.”
“Sorry, I forgot, you’re an ‘artist.’”
“That I am. And I’m having a show in two weeks at Tamo Gallery. Want to come?”
“Cool, yes! Remind me closer?”
“Sure. Enjoy rotting your brain.”
- - -
Ahhh. Brigitte collapsed onto her bed. Friday night meant one thing: Lap Confessions, only the best TV show ever! Brigitte felt her phone buzz and pawed it out. A text from Teresa:
“Hey girl, u comin 2nite?”
“Ladies nite @ The Hydrant.”
“Taking it easy. Thanks tho.”
Just before nine, Brigitte guiltily pulled a jar of peanut butter from the pantry and snuggled down in front of the TV. Peanut butter was her favorite, but so embarrassing to eat in public. The first bite hit the roof of her mouth and stuck. Her tongue began the long licking process as she flipped the TV on. “This week, on Lap Confessions, Jessica has fleas, but hasn’t told Martin…”
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. Someone at the door. Brigitte licked frantically. Who could that be?
Brigitte called through the door, “Hello?”
“Police. Open the door.”
- - -
Want to find out what happens next? Sign up for the Frederator Books newsletter and get new chapters sent to your email every Tuesday.
Be sure to follow Nicky and Adam on Twitter, at @ndpmvc and @adamfaysketch, and check out Adam’s Tumblr for more of his illustrations. You can follow @frederatorbooks for more on the series. Tweet your thoughts on the story as you read it, and be sure to tell your friends! We want to know what you think, so email us too, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barking Up the Wrong Tree © Nicholas DePaul 2015
Illustrations © Adam Fay 2015