Estevan Vega's hot new book, Arson is pretty much raping book blogs everywhere! A few months ago, his book tour stopped by the MT blog and I got a friend to do some artwork for the book (left). I also reviewed Arson (if I had recently reviewed it, it would've gotten a Gold) and lurved it, I'm just waiting for the sequel, now :3
Estevan was nice enough to write up a short story, and guess what... YOU get to write the ending! The best ending I get, wins some swag and maybe a book or two! Trust me, I'll make it worth all your typing! E-mail me your endings and I'll post them in a few weeks!
There was a knock on my door. A slow, calm tap of a knock that called to me and my undivided, unexpected attention. But I wouldn’t, I couldn’t open it. My mind would not let me. I was busy doing this right. You see, it isn’t as easy as you think. It takes a lot from a man. It takes nearly everything. Never comes easy. To tell you the truth, you’d really know nothing about it. But since you’re here, since you’re scrutinizing my every perfect move, you can stick around and see how this all ends.
It isn’t long before I realized the knock wouldn’t go away. Every time it left, it came crawling back. That sound. That god-awful sound. What was it? Who could be disturbing me at this lawless hour? No time to answer it. Let the machine get it, I told myself, only later to remind myself once more that this otherworldly sound was neither my imagination nor my telephone ringing. You see, my mind slips sometimes. Not my fault, either. Not something I’d ever asked for; it was just some silly thing I was born with, like acne or webbed feet.
I could feel the sweat trickling down my shivering spine, the nerves in my body making me all shaky, and my wrists filling with blood, or draining, I wasn’t sure. I was out of breath. Couldn’t carry it to the secret room. Couldn’t move it. Just too damn heavy.
Why can’t you be more like your brother? That’s Mom for you, always loving and always on my case. She’s in there somewhere. I wonder if her voice is calling up to me from the bag, from the weight. But it’s then I come to grips with it. She’s gone. They all are. In the past. Someplace else. Not here.
Then, like a gunshot, I hear something else, muffled somewhat by the sound of the knocking I dare not answer. But still I can hear some kind of disturbing tone. Why aren’t you strong like me? Dad calls out from the weight room downstairs. I so hated it when he did that. No son of mine is gonna be a copout. Pick up that weight and show me whatcha got. Dad found a sick pleasure in humiliating me whenever a girl was over. I guess you could call it reverse affection. Instead of patting me on the shoulder every time I did something right, he’d forgot all about it and ridicule me for doing something else wrong. Guess he was sick that day they taught you how to love. I love you, Dad, I say. If you love me, then lift this, he shrugs, rolling up his sleeves to show me how much power a twerp like me could have if only I’d put my mind to it. But I never found meaning in that kind of thing. I didn’t know how. I don’t know how. Just not wired that way. The places my mind and my heart have instead taken me…I wouldn’t wish them on anybody.
But I wouldn’t trade them either. Sick or sane, they have raised me, nurtured this skinny bag of bones, this wretch, this fragile thing. I am.
The knock. That damned knock. I knew it wasn’t supposed to do this to me. I knew that it should be more soothing, sound more hopeful. But not tonight. I can’t open it. I can’t welcome it in. It haunts me so.
Suddenly, my father’s words have run away, disappeared once more into memory, as the sound of flesh against wood kept beating hard, so hard I could feel it in my chest. The vibrations sent chills up my neck, the cry of splintered oak echoing into the room and lingering in the foggy air. It was an angry ricochet demanding me hold still. But I couldn’t do that either. I wasn’t finished dragging it upstairs. If this were a movie, you’d all be cheering I get the girl, or lay waste to the villain’s hideout, even take first place in the make-out awards for finally stealing that kiss from the most beautiful girl in school. But this isn’t a cheap flick. No sit back and relax evening. And you’re not the cheering type, not tonight anyway. Not here. Not now. Oh, God, can you hear that noise too? I meant to give in, to finally say, Hold on, I’ll be there in a minute. But the words never seemed to come out. They never do. It’s getting louder, thicker, denser. I can’t escape it. Each knuckle might as well be a thousand claws biting into the wood. Forget it.
But I can’t. My God, I wish I could. I really do. I wish I could.
The sounds were toying with me, I was sure. And this isn’t the first time, only the most vivid. I took a deep breath, only to hesitate. It was getting heavier, this burden, this weight I carried. Up the stairs, to the secret room no one knew existed but me.
Are you sure? Someone knows.
Shut up! Curse you!
The curses didn’t do me any good. The knock was still there, watching me, waiting for me. But I dared not go to it. I swore I wouldn’t. I told myself the knock on the door was a petty thing, really, in the grand scheme of things. I mustn’t worry about it. No, not now. Maybe some other night, maybe some other man. But this isn’t that other night, and I’m not that man. Not me. No, not now.
Another knock chilled my body. And with that otherworldly sound, the bag shook.