Saturday, August 4, 2012

Arson Blog Tour: Excerpt

I'm very happy to be part of the Arson blog tour. I'm super excited to be sharing an excerpt, introduced by the author, Estevan Vega. Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!


Before now, three things were true: he both loved and despised his grandmother; his life was going nowhere; and he was alone. But when a strange girl--who feels more normal behind a mask than inside her own skin--moves in next door, Arson hopes to find something he's never had: purpose. After years of living in fear, he will be forced to confront his haunting past and embrace the unknown as he walks the fine line between boy and monster. Edgy, realistic, and breathtaking, Arson, the chilling chronicle of an isolated teenager with unimaginable ability, is set to ignite the hearts and minds of a new generation.


This is one of my favorite scenes from the novel. Why? Because it shows Arson as a frustrated teenager fearful of his abilities but needing them. Also, in a sick way, he is jealous of a spider. Oh, and I snuck in my favorite novel from high school. See if you can find it. Here we see Arson being punished by his twisted grandmother Kay for “drowning.” She hates when he does it, but it’s the only way he can keep himself level. It’s kind of a dark scene, but it gives you an idea of what to expect in Arson. This is a slow burn type of book. It builds and builds to an ultimate crescendo.

Arson reached for the photograph of his mother. He clutched it tightly until his hands became fists, the face of his mother quickly disintegrating inside his hot grip. Maybe if she were here…
Arson lay huddled on the floor. He’d changed his outfit and had plenty of time to dry off, but he still felt soggy, his clothes sticking to his body every chance they got. Anxious and uneasy, he rocked back and forth. The walls accused and the windows spied. Fury pumped through him. The heat in his hands didn’t bother him the way it used to. He practiced lighting and quenching the fire in his palm. Played with it.
Let it dance across each line and curve. First a spark, then a red gasp, and then a flame. A smile manipulated his lips. He hated the fire, but it seemed the fire understood him in ways no human could, in ways no human wanted to.
It was then that Arson found a spider crawling amidst the  dust, its spiny, intricate legs plotting a vile route with each measured move. Yet the creature appeared insignificant to him. Disgusting and meaningless. The more Arson stared, the more apprehensive the creature became. The spider ceased all movement suddenly. Its dead eyes were black glass. Arson wondered if it had a soul. The spider crawled along, tiptoeing against the back of Arson’s wrist for a moment before making its way up unpainted sheetrock. He locked his gaze. The eight-legged acrobat drifted along the wall. Somewhere within this creature’s ugliness, there was something painfully beautiful.
The room paled in comparison. The boarded windows looked on, but Arson ignored them. A poster of his favorite novel, The Great Gatsby, faded away as light skimmed across the filmy layer of web and dust. The web reminded him of Grandma’s hair—white, the color of ghosts and winter.
Arson marveled. Seconds turned to minutes and minutes into an hour, and he watched the busy creature spin and twist, carefully unwinding each sticky thread. Jealousy swelled within him. “It’s unfair,” he snarled.
The spider was done at last. Arson watched it crawl across the web trailing from the bedpost to the ceiling. It was perfect.
The dead-eyed spider danced upon the final strand and awaited its prey, huddled in the darkness.
Arson’s hand began to burn once more, and this time he let it seduce him. “I hate you,” he cried. Frustration and sadness and torment altogether. Arson reached out with one finger and burned the web, letting it fall like ashes at his feet.
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