I think I’m going to do something a little different today. Currently, I’m in the final phases of editing for my soon-to-be released horror book, ASH. So, I thought I’d post a freshly edited excerpt here, see what y’all think.
I sat in my room and stared at the wall. Mom and dad had tried to talk to me after mom calmed down, but I didn’t want to talk anymore. Jacob was dead, what more was there to say? Yeah, we weren’t exactly best friends, but that didn’t mean I didn’t care about him. I felt a little guilty, because even though I did care about Jacob, I was way more worried about Darrick. Was that wrong?
I waited until I thought they were probably done with him to call. I pulled out my phone and waited another ten minutes, a little bit for him to process, a little bit for me to build up courage, then I hit the button.
Surprisingly, he answered on the first ring. “I don’t want to talk about it,” he mumbled. He had been crying. Duh.
“Did the police let you go?” Hey, it was an important question. I didn’t want my best friend going to jail.
“Vi, I said I didn’t want to talk about it,” he growled at me.
“Darrick, we were just arrested-”
“Jacob is dead!” He screamed.
“Darrick, can we please talk about this?” I asked. There were several loud thumps on the other end, then nothing. The line was dead.
Jacob is dead. I don’t think it felt real until that moment. But hearing those words from him, it all washed over me. The first tears fell, and then a waterfall. I threw myself into my pillow and let it all out. Jacob was dead and Darrick was hurting, and there was nothing I could do about it.
“It’s your fault, you know,” came a voice from behind me.
I hadn’t heard the door open. I whipped around and there, standing by my closet, was the dead man with the pencil in his eye. “What?” I squeaked.
“I said,” he said, slowly. “It’s your fault.”
“Bullshit,” I whispered. I don’t know whether I was telling him or myself.
“Is it?” He grinned. It was a sick grin, cracked, blistered lips parting to reveal yellow teeth. “You were told to leave. Given every chance to do it. But you just had to push on.” He shook his head. The pencil was almost hypnotizing as it moved around. “Now, you tell me. Who’s fault do you think it is?”
Motherfucker. It was his fault! I sprang from my bed and charged him with my fist back, ready to take a swing. I got close to him and, ran into a wall. It knocked me on my ass. When I looked up to face him, he was gone. Fuck.
The anger dissipated and left me empty. It was my fault. I found that notebook. I knew it meant something, but I didn’t tell anybody. I voted to stay. I pushed them to the basement, until we found those ashes. It was my fault Jacob was dead. I sat there on the floor of my room and felt… Nothing.
And there it is. What did you think? If you like what you’ve read, the book, ASH, will be out soon, through many major booksellers.