Tag Archives: thriller

The Contract between heaven and earth

11 Jun

Hello, everyone! I hope you are having a great start to the week. I’m participating in a blog tour to introduce an exciting new novel, THE CONTRACT by John W. Howell and Gwendolyn M. Plano. I’m excited about this new thriller. Both John and Gwen are very talented authors and members of the Rave Reviews Book Club. Their writing styles are fascinating and very different, so this collaboration intrigues me. I’m really looking forward to reading this book.

I’m going to allow John & Gwen to take over now. Don’t forget to leave them some feedback in the comment section. Thank you!

The CONTRACT between heaven and earth

By John W. Howell & Gwen M. Plano

Thank you, Vashti, for inviting us to join you today. We are delighted to be featured on your blog, and indeed feel like neighbors (you being the writer next door). All the best to you!

The Contract-thriller-John W Howell-Gwendolyn M Plano-new_release-novel-Vashti Quiroz Vega-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q

 

Available on Kindle and Paperback

Kindle priced at $0.99 for the introduction.

THE CONTRACT is a different story for writers John W. Howell and Gwen M. Plano. For either of them, it is their first attempt at co-authorship. After a year of Hurricane Harvey and other challenges, they have created, what they have termed, an inspirational thriller that bridges heaven and earth.

Here is the blurb:

The earth is threatened with a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.

 

Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance, and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appearsto have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumbleas Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits for the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped.

 

If you enjoy thrillers, this is one with enough twists and adventure to keep you riveted and guessing. If you like your thriller along with a good romance, Brad and Sarah’s initial attraction and eventual love will sustain you as they live out their heavenly and earthly desires.

 

 

Here is an excerpt.

A child cried among the sea of moans in the burial ground that once was a school. An eight-point-five earthquake had hit San Diego and buckled the structure, trapping the children. Rescue teams lifted chunks of concrete, looking for any sign of hope, while sirens whined, and anguished parents screamed as rescuers lifted one lifeless body after another from the rubble.

In the darkened classrooms of twisted metal and collapsed ceilings, angelic beings held each child. They formed part of the divine regiment, sent to comfort and escort the children to their heavenly home.

“Mommy,” the voice said, faint and failing.

An angel responded, “Come, little one. Youaresafe with me.”

Without effort, theyoungster floated above his body, and with the angel, he ascended into clouds of bright iridescent hues. The wisps of color surroundedhimand obscured the destruction and terror below.

“Johnny,” hecalled out when he noticed his friend nearby in the clouds.

Johnny looked and waved in return. “Hey, Pauly.” He, too, traveled with an angel.

Then Pauly spotted other children on all sides of him, accompanied by celestial beings. He smiled and said to his guardian angel, “My friends are all with me.”

Authors Bio.

Book_tour-The Contract-Gwendolyn M Plano-John W Howell-Amazon-novel-Thriller-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.  His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The last, Circumstances of Childhood is a family life thriller story and launched October 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

John’s other books.

Available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

dog lover-author-John W Howell-writer-blog_tour-The Contract-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-thriller

John and Lucy

Gwen had a lengthy career in higher education, and it was there that she published her first book, Beyond Boundaries, for students interested in volunteer work in developing countries. After she retired, she wrote her award-winning memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love.

 

Gwen lives in Branson, Missouri with her husband.

Gwen’s books.

Available on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2wdXsrn

family_frolic-Gwendolyn M Plano-Gwen Plano-author-writer-novel-the contract-book_tour-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega

Gwen and her kids.

Thank you for visiting!

 

Writer’s Quote Wednesday

24 Jun

Hello everyone! Every Wednesday I participate in an event sponsored by Colleen Chesebro called Writer’s Quote Wednesday. I choose a quote that I like and relate to, and feature it on my blog. If you’d like to participate, visit Colleen’s blog, Silver Threading. She also does a weekly wrap-up of all the participants’ quotes every Tuesday.

Several people that have read my first book, The Basement, and then read my short stories and The Fall of Lilith, have mentioned to me of the difference between my first book and my written work afterward. Well, aside from gaining knowledge and experience after writing my first book, I also consider that my first book was something I was compelled to write, whereas my later works were written from pure inspiration and fun. I felt I had a message to deliver when I wrote The Basement, and I chose to convey it to children.

If you’re curious about my first book, The Basement, you can read about it here and here

The Basement_Vashti Quiroz-Vega

The Basement- Twitter- Card

The Basement_Vashti Quiroz-Vega_thriller

Is there a piece of writing that you felt compelled to write? A book, short story, blog post, article that you felt you had to share? If so, tell me what and why you were compelled to write it. Share the link to your work in the comment section below.

Image

The Basement: Robbie’s Rite of Passage

13 Feb

The Basement: Robbie's Rite of Passage

Hello everyone! I realized that it’s been a while since I’ve shared anything about my novel The Basement. I’ve been lucky to have acquired some new followers since the last time I posted anything about my book. So–in light of this,  I’ve decided to take this opportunity to share a couple of my latest (short) reviews from Amazon, and my book trailer, which I am really excited about. I hope you enjoy the post.

The Basement Book Trailer

Art by Denise Spencer (black & white drawings) and George Miltiadis (color images)

Voiceover by Mike Paine

Writing by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Produced by IBP: International Book Promotion

THE BASEMENT is an unusual coming-of-age story about an 11-year-old boy, Robbie, who is barely surviving a grim life with an alcoholic father and non-entity mother until the day he must pass a terrible test set for him by the father. Robbie is prepared, in a way, by an accident and subsequent ordeal waiting to be rescued during a scout outing, but his father’s cruel test is to leave the boy overnight in a rat-infested basement of a tenement house. Robbie draws strength from his belief in God and eventually wins through, with a courage that helps to transform his father.

The main theme is that of finding courage to survive abuse. The book would be a good candidate to be read out loud to a middle grade instruction class or to young abuse survivors, with characters, concepts, and some advanced vocabulary all offering good discussion opportunities.

– Carmen Amato

 

 

A fantastic read from Vashti Quiroz-Vega!

Immediately the author draws you into this wonderful story by showing great observational skills. Vashti has a talent for great and unusual details in her writing. The tale has very realistic descriptions with nicely developed characters, which took me back to younger days. Kids playing, exploring and the thoughts and feelings they encounter along the path of life. The story is creative, imaginative and a gripping read, full of excitement and sentiment.

I really loved this little section and it gives a good taste of the book: Then it would be time for him to go on his treasure hunt in hell. He shuddered and closed his eyes tightly to say a little prayer. Please, God, send one of your angels to protect me from whatever waits in that basement. Amen.

The Basement is a thrilling story and will leave you wanting more- this is a real page-turner.
Vashti Quiroz-Vega is certainly an author to watch out for in the future.  A highly recommended 5*****

– Peter Martin

 

 

This is a well written book. The story line is so interesting, it really painted vivid images in my mind while I read. I did not want to stop reading the book!

I am sure you won’t be disappointed if you purchase this book. I am definitely looking out for all of Vashti’s books!

Happy reading everyone!

– Dee

 

 

You can read a chapter from The Basement:

It’s Only Water? Tell That To A Drowning Boy

Natasha’s Descent Into The Basement

 

 

The two Black & white illustrations below are my concept brought to life by artist Denise Spencer. They are featured in the book along with a few others.

The illustrator of these two drawings: Denise Spencer also illustrated the book cover, which was a finalist in the AuthorDB Book Cover Contest.

The Basement by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

 

 

The Basement by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Below is a drawing of Natasha, one of the characters in my book.

Fan Art by illustrator George Miltiadis

Scared girl_The Basement_Vashti Quiroz-Vega

A little update about my work in progress:

I’m editing my second book ‘The Fall of Lilith‘. The Fall of Lilith is the first installment of my Fantasy Angels Series. The process has been slow because I’ve had to do it in parts. I’ve also began writing the second book in the series, ‘Dracul‘ (tentative title). If you’d like to read snippets from ‘The Fall of Lilith’ or ‘Dracul’ you can check out my board on Pinterest or my Excerpts Page on this blog. You can also check out my Facebook Author Page. In the near future I will post a chapter from The Fall of Lilith. I would love to get some feedback from you all.

Let me know your thoughts.  What’s new with you?  What are you up to?

Image

Character Interview: Robbie from The Basement

20 Nov

Hi everyone and welcome to my blog! My first novel The Basement is doing okay as far as sales! I want to thank all my fans and followers because without you guys this would not be possible. I also wanted to share my new book trailer (above). International Book Promo did a great job putting it together for me and I’m proud to show it off. I love it! I hope you do too!

Today, I am going to interview a significant person in my life. I’ve come to know him very well.

I speak of a young boy who goes by the name of Robbie. He is the main character in The Basement: Robbie’s Rite of Passage. Some of you have already gotten to know him quite well, others are in the process of getting to know him, but there are still many that have never heard of him.

Whether you’ve read The Basement already or have not had the chance to yet, Robbie is a boy worth getting to know, and this interview will reveal things that I don’t even know. So there will be surprises even for me.

I expect Robbie will be here at any moment.

(The sudden resonating echo of knuckles rapping on a door.)

Oh! That must be Robbie now.

(The clicking of high heels resound on the floor as Vashti, who dressed up for the occasion, walks to the door and opens it.)

Robbie’s here! I’m trembling with excitement. He is a handsome boy with eyes that reflect wisdom beyond his eleven years, along with a bit of sorrow. He has a dulcet smile. I can tell he’s nervous because he’s tugging on his checkered shirt, and his big brown eyes have not yet settled on one spot. Hmmm, I think we should get started before he changes his mind.

joshua-rush

Robbie

Vashti: Hi Robbie, how are you?

Robbie: Great!

 

 

Vashti: Lets have a seat and get comfortable so that we may start.

Robbie: Okay. (He looks around and sits with his hands together, rubbing them slightly.)

 

 

Vashti: Robbie, are you nervous?

Robbie: Um, yeah! (He giggles.)

 

 

Vashti: Well, don’t be nervous. I’m just going to ask you a few questions, and I want you to be as honest as possible with your answers. Your fans want to get to know you better. What do you think about that?

Robbie: That’s really cool.

 

 

Vashti: Who brought you to the interview?

Robbie: My mom.

 

 

Vashti: Oh, good! I’d like to meet her.

Robbie: I’m pretty sure she wants to meet you, too. You should go talk to her after this.

 

 

Vashti: I will certainly do that, Robbie. Now, lets get started.

(Robbie swallows hard and fidgets around a bit.)

 

 

Vashti: Robbie, do you enjoy school?

Robbie: Sometimes…um most of the times.

 

 

Vashti: When do you not enjoy school?

Robbie: Ah, there are, um, kids that pick on me sometimes.

 

 

Vashti: Why do they pick on you?

Robbie: I don’t know. I guess because I’m smaller than they are, and like, I get good grades and they don’t.

 

 

Vashti: Yes, you are an honor student. Your parents must be very proud.

Robbie: My mom is. (He lowers his head.)

 

 

Vashti: Your mom? How about your dad?

Robbie: (He shakes his head.) He doesn’t care. He’d rather I be an athlete like he was before he hurt his knee. He thinks I’m a wimp. I guess I am.

 

 

Vashti: Why, because you don’t play sports? That does not make you a wimp!

Robbie: My dad sure thinks so. He doesn’t care that I get straight A’s. My mom does care and we celebrate, just the two of us, on report card day.

 

 

Vashti: That’s very nice. How do you and your mom celebrate?

Robbie: We go to a bookstore in our neighborhood, and I get to pick out any book I want, and then we go for ice cream! (His face lights up.)

 

 

Vashti: That sounds like fun.

Robbie: It is.

 

 

Vashti: Robbie, do you think your father loves you?

Robbie: (His eyes fall to the ground, and he slumps a bit.) I guess he has to because he’s my dad, but he doesn’t like me. He wishes Nathan, Nestor or even Freddie were his son instead of me, I’m sure.

 

 

Vashti: Tell us — who are these people you mentioned?

Robbie: Oh! Nathan is one of my best friends, and he’s a very nice guy. We know Nestor from church. He’s a youth leader. All the kids look up to him. We call Freddie Spiderman because he’s the strongest teen in the neighborhood, and he does “Daredevil” stuff that no one else dares to do.

 

 

Vashti: What makes you think your father would rather have one of them as his son instead of you?

Robbie: My dad doesn’t yell at them or call them names like he does me. He puts his arm around them and pats them on the back when they do something that pleases him. I guess I never make him happy because he never does that to me.

 

 

Vashti: Tell me about Natasha.

Robbie: (He turns beet red and giggles.) What do you want to know about her?

 

 

Vashti: What is she like?

Robbie: She’s the most beautiful girl I know. She’s really smart, and she’s athletic too. She always beats me in a race. She and Barney are my very best friends. (Big grin.)

 

 

Vashti: Tell me about Barney. Do you think your father would want him as a son?

Robbie: Nah! Barney is too much like me. He’s a nerd, too! (He giggles.)

 

 

Vashti: Robbie, I’ve heard some disturbing news about something your father wants you to do. Could you tell me about that?

Robbie: Um. He… he wants me to go down to our basement at night. He thinks that if I go down there in the dark and kill the mice that nest there, I will prove to him and the neighbors that I’m a real man.

 

 

Vashti: What? You’re only eleven years old!

Robbie: I know! I told him that, but he says I have to do it anyway.

 

 

Vashti: Will you do it? Will you go down to the basement? At night?

Robbie: I have to! If I don’t, my father will go on believing that I’m a wimp and a scaredy cat. He’ll continue to call me names and embarrass me in front of my friends. I have to do it!

 

 

Vashti: Have you ever been down to your basement before?

Robbie: No, but everyone knows that there are creatures living in that basement.

 

 

Vashti: Creatures? What kind of creatures?

Robbie: No one knows for sure, but Barney’s cousin saw one. It nearly killed him!

 

 

Vashti: That’s terrible! Surely your father doesn’t know about the creatures. Otherwise he wouldn’t be sending you down there.

Robbie: He’s heard the rumors, but he doesn’t believe them. Anyway, he’s too drunk to care whether it’s true or not. I guess tonight I will find out unless my dad changes his mind. (Robbie stares straight ahead and tugs on his shirtsleeves.)

 

 

Vashti: Okay! Well, that is the end of our interview. Thank you so much for stopping by, Robbie. It was a real pleasure having you. Oh, and tell your mom to wait for me a moment while I wrap this up.

Robbie: Thank you. Bye!

 

 

(Robbie smiles faintly and walks away.)

 

 

Oh, I’m sure his father will reconsider and not make him go down to that scary basement. If not, surely his mother will not allow it, right? Of course! Robbie will be alright. Won’t he?

Robbie

The Basement’s main character RobbieRobbie

289726

Robbie’s dulcet smile

 

** The Basement is temporarily unavailable for purchase due to issues with the Publisher. It will be available again late this year.

Image

Robbie

9 May

Robbie

Illustrated by Jessica-Art

Hi everyone! Welcome to my blog and thank you for taking the time to read my post. Today I am sharing a short excerpt from my novel “The Basement”. This snippet will give you a little insight on the main character Robbie and his father Robert. I hope you enjoy it. There is also a short poem written by Adrianna Joleigh written specifically for The Basement.

 

Robbie’s Problem Parent

Excerpt from The Basement

 

Robbie’s dad, Robert, was a quiet, serious man with a rough exterior, which intimidated most of the neighborhood kids. Many had seen him lose his temper with his wife, his son, and even his neighbors on more than one occasion. It was never a pretty sight.
His eyes resembled two large, shiny, black pearls suspended in yellowing ice, bordered by bushy, black eyebrows. When he glared at you with those eyes, it was hard not to tremble.
Robbie was nothing like his father. He was an intelligent, sweet boy with delicate features. He was quiet and bashful except around his friends. He was a bit clumsy and awkward at times, which always made the kids laugh. Robbie was a self-conscious, timid and insecure boy perhaps because of the constant berating he suffered at the hands of his father. However, he was also good-natured, considerate, clever and courageous when he mostly needed to be. Although most of the kids in the neighborhood pitied Robbie, some poked fun at him.
His dad was very strict with him—sometimes downright ornery. At least it’s what most people in the neighborhood believed. Robbie was a small, fragile kid who had more in common with his wife’s genes than his own, and Robert didn’t like it. He didn’t appreciate that his kid was more brain than brawn and often belittled him. It seemed no matter what Robbie did to please his father, it was never enough. All of Robbie’s achievements in school—his straight As, awards, and honor roll certificates—weren’t appreciated by his barbarous father. Robert often got drunk on beers, and when he did he was obnoxious. He loved to pick on his son when he drank, which embarrassed and saddened Robbie and his friends.

Excerpt from THE BASEMENT

 

 

Unaccepted

Blood tears rain down his face.
His chest bloated with poisonous words.
His eyes pitch black and hollow,
Beaten by the mouths of cowards.

Sitting alone in dark shadows
Of the bullies who murdered his wit.
Stabbing his life one day at a time
‘til nothing’s left but an abysmal pit.

Fearing the presence of strangers.
Fearing the judgment they pass.
Fearing the abuse and lies that are fed
Into a child’s life that shall not last.

Desperate to make sense of the pain
Injected daily into his veins.
Killing any expectation he’s ever had
Without fervor, his aches remain.

Foolishly coming to you for acceptance
Into this world of yours.
Desperately clinging onto the niceties in life
Prospects vanish behind barred doors.
What is there in life worth living?
What is left but pain and degradation?
What does he have that’s worth giving?
What’s the point of surviving abomination?

–A. Joleigh

Actor Joshua Rush

The Basement is available in paperback and ebook
(Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks)

“Within this entertaining and frightening tale is a good lesson to be learned.”

 Get The Basement on amazon.com

Image

The Fog

3 May
The Fog

Alone in the Fog

The Fog

There has always been something truly eerie about a fog—the way a dense, gloomy fog rolls in and covers everything in a shroud of mystery.
The way it creeps in, spreading its misty tentacles over all.
Why does the image of an ephemeral wall of mist chill us to the bone? Perhaps because a fog is mystifying, dim and wet. Or maybe because everything we see inside the cold, thick fog resembles dark and ominous shadows.
A fog blurs our vision, it blinds us to what’s coming and makes us unsure of the destiny that awaits us on the other side. It conjures feelings of vulnerability, despair and fear.
Don’t get caught in the fog!

I beg your pardon…that was just the rambling of an over-stimulated writer’s mind. Welcome to my blog! Actually, a fog is defined as “a collection of liquid water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth’s surface.” – Wikipedia
…but what if a fog has infiltrated your brain?

trauma_re_visited_by_phantomphreaq-d4ppsq9

The Fog

Illustration by phantomphreaq (deviantArt)

Excerpt from THE BASEMENT


Cleo pounded repeatedly on the door. She knocked as hard as she could to no avail. She rubbed her knuckles, which had begun to ache. Just as she decided to give up and turned to leave, someone finally opened the door. It was Robert. He looked a mess! His hair resembled a bird’s nest. Apparently, she had woken him.

Amidst all the drama the night before, as he tried to teach his son a lesson in manhood while his wife interfered, Robert had become very upset. After his wife left the apartment to look for Robbie, he drank heavily. He gulped down one beer after another and passed out on his easy chair in the living room. The banging on the door shook him from a deep slumber.

Cleo wore a concerned grimace. “Something’s happened to your son!”

Robert, who was a bit disoriented, gawked at the girl, his forehead crinkled in confusion. He wore a bewildered expression, and his eyes darted to and fro. He winced and rubbed his head. He had a terrible headache—one of the disagreeable aftereffects of drunkenness.

“What are you talking about?” he asked in a gruff voice. “My son’s sleeping in his room.”

Cleo watched as he staggered forward like a drunk, expending huge amounts of energy just staying in one place.

“Your son’s downstairs sitting on the sidewalk in front of this building!” Her voice was shrill, and her eyes were opened wide. “He could be hurt! He’s covered in blood! You need to come downstairs right away!”

Roberts’s hands flew to cover his ears, and he grimaced as his head throbbed from her screams.

“You sent him down to the basement last night!” she added with reproach. Then Cleo rolled her eyes at him, spun, and zipped down the stairs.

“That doesn’t make sense. His mother went down to the basement last night to get him!”

Robert was ranting, unable to focus, until a light bulb went on in his head and burned the infiltrating fog. Panic surged through his body and seemed to sober him up.

“My poor son!” he gasped.

He shambled to Robbie’s room. He needed to check for himself whether or not his son was there. He pushed open the door to Robbie’s room and saw he was indeed gone. He proceeded to his bedroom to wake his wife, but when he looked inside, he was shocked to see the bed had not been slept in. Dread overcame him again.

“What happened last night in that basement?” he asked under his breath.

His pulse began to race, and he breathed heavily. He did not bother to brush his teeth or fix his messy hair. As he bolted out the door, he was still wearing the same unkempt clothes he wore the day before—the very clothes he had soaked with foul perspiration, and which now stuck to his salty flesh. He had the appearance and startling, offensive stench of a vagrant. At the moment, he did not care about such things. All he could think about, as he rushed down the stairs, was getting to his wife and son.

What happened in the basement? 

Click to purchase The Basement at amazon paperback and eBook (Kindle)

Click to purchase
The Basement at amazon
paperback and eBook (Kindle)

Click to purchase  The Basement in paperback or eBook (Nook)

Click to purchase
The Basement in paperback or eBook (Nook)

Image

It’s only water? Tell that to a drowning boy.

19 Apr
It's only water? Tell that to a drowning boy.

The rain is pouring down into the well. Wells are meant to hold water!

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog. The Basement: Robbie’s Rite of Passage is my first novel. It is a Suspense/Thriller aimed at an upper Middle Grade/ Young Adult audience (pre-teens & teens). The Basement is a coming of age story about a pre-teen named Robbie and the many issues he faces in his young life (bullying, verbal abuse, alcoholic father, puppy love . . . ) and how the encouragement and support of his mom, friends and neighborhood heroes aid him in the task of overcoming these obstacles. You will feel an array of emotions as you read this novel ranging from indignation and sorrow to laughter and delight, not to mention a bit of thrills and fright.

Please enjoy a chapter from THE BASEMENT, and let me know what you think in the comments below. Your opinions mean a great deal to me and will help me develop further as a writer. Thank you!

Joshua Rush as Robbie

Rescue Delayed

Before leaving to go get help, Nestor had cleared away the plants that concealed the well. Robbie and Barney were really beginning to worry. For a while, Robbie and Barney could look up at a circle of blue, but now the sky was somber, and rain poured down in buckets. The sun would set soon, and even the feeble light that allowed them to see each other would disappear. Robbie wondered what would happen if Nestor and the others returned after dark – would they be able to find the well again?

The boys had no choice but to wait, even though the rain did not relent and the water was rising.

“We’re going to need to stand,” Robbie said in a wobbly voice.

Barney nodded—he had also noticed the rising water. He tried repeatedly to get to his feet, but his efforts were futile. He sat rocking back and forth, wincing and groaning in pain.

Robbie passed his hands along the walls to try to find something he could hold onto. His hands came across something he believed to be part of a tree root. He scrunched his brow and pulled on the root to test its strength; it seemed to be anchored securely to the wall of the well.

“Barney, I found something attached to the wall that I can hold onto while I try to stand. It feels like tree roots. Maybe there’s something that can help you get to your feet on your side.”

Barney made efforts to pass his hands over the walls near him, but each twist and bend of his body was like sharp, hot knives slowly entering his flesh. He howled in pain and closed his eyes tightly, clenching his jaw.

“Are you okay?” Robbie asked with a worried grimace etched on his face.

“I’ll be all right.” Barney was breathless. “How about you? Can you stand up?”

Robbie grabbed the root with his right hand and pushed himself off the ground with his left arm, but an excruciating pain in his right leg prevented him from standing. As a consequence, he fell back to the wet ground and into a seated position. He groaned. He knew now he could not lean on his right leg and figured he probably fractured a bone when he fell.

The rain continued to pour, and the water level in the well kept climbing. Robbie bit the corner of his lower lip and made another attempt to get up, gripping the root with both hands and putting his whole weight on his left leg. Doing so, he was able to rise. The effort of standing had made him dizzy, and he faltered off balance. He rested his back against the wall to steady himself. As he tried to move closer to the wall, his foot slipped, and he almost fell again. When he finally got his back up against the wall of the well, he let go with one hand. He stared wide-eyed at Barney, who was almost submerged. Robbie extended his free hand. “Try to reach for my hand.”

“I can’t move. Everything hurts.” Barney grimaced in pain and moaned.

“You have to try. You’ll drown if you don’t! Please try!”

“All right, I’ll try again.” He strained with all his might to reach his hand. A screaming pain shot through his legs when he moved. His right arm throbbed, and his ribs ached terribly. Barney winced and wailed in agony. He began to wheeze as it became difficult for him to breathe. He was in bad shape. Barney moaned and shook his head. “I can’t.”

“Come on! You can do it!” Robbie encouraged him. “The water’s rising fast!”

The water level reached just above Robbie’s knees. Only Barney’s head and his shoulders were above the water. He needed to get on his feet quickly before the water covered him completely.

Barney reached his arm out as far as he could, but he could barely reach Robbie’s fingertips. Robbie’s hand was only eight inches away from Barney’s, but it might as well have been a hundred feet away. It was no use—he could not elevate himself. Even if he managed to reach the outstretched hand, Robbie was not strong enough to support his entire body weight. Barney’s broken legs could not sustain him, so he gave up trying. There was a squeaking, creaking sound when he breathed.

“Barney, don’t give up.” Robbie’s voice was heavy with sadness.

“I’m sorry I can’t get up. I really did try. I gave it my all. I think both my legs are broken and I can’t breathe right anymore.”

Robbie’s heart sank as he heard his wheezing. He bit his lip, his eyebrows drawn in. He wanted to help his friend, but he could hardly help himself. What would Superman do now? was all he could think at the moment.

It was getting dark in the well. The boys could no longer see each other. Robbie’s heart beat hard against his chest. His breathing was fast and shallow. He worried mostly about the water rising above his friend’s neck and drowning him. He lifted his eyes, but it was so dark he could not even see the opening to the well anymore. All he saw was darkness. He decided to pray.

“God, I know you can hear me even from down here. Please save my friend. I know you usually help those who help themselves. Barney did try to get on his feet, but he just didn’t have the strength to do it. Please stop the rain from coming down. Don’t allow my friend drown.”

Robbie closed his eyes while he prayed, although it would not have made a difference if he had kept them open. It was pitch black in the well. He looked up again and opened his eyes. He continued to feel big drops of rain tumble from the sky and mix with his tears.

“Barney, talk to me?”

“I’m still here, buddy.”

“Let’s keep talking to each other, just so we’ll each know the other’s all right.”

“Sure, but it’s not going to be easy for me. Every breath hurts.”

“All right, how about I just check up on you every so often. All you have to say is ‘OK’ or ‘I’m fine.’ Is that good?”

“Yes, Rob-bie, that’s fff…”

Click to purchase The Basement at amazon paperback and eBook (Kindle)

Click to purchase
The Basement at amazon
paperback and eBook (Kindle)

Click to purchase  The Basement in paperback or eBook (Nook)

Click to purchase
The Basement in paperback or eBook (Nook)

Image

He thought of days he had handed over to a bottle.

13 Apr

Drunk

The Drunk

by an unknown drunk writer

Starkle, starkle, little twink,
Who the hell are you I think.
I’m not under what you call
The alcofluence of incohol.
I’m just a little slort of sleep,
I’m not drunk like thinkle peep.
I don’t know who is me yet,
But the drunker I stand here the longer I get.
So just give me one more fink to drill my cup,
‘Cause I got all day sober to Sunday up.

funny-drunk-guide-footsteps

Hello! A warm welcome to my blog. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Today I will share a short excerpt from my novel The Basement: Robbie’s Rite Of Passage. I hope you enjoy it!

“Within this entertaining and frightening tale is a good lesson to be learned.”~ Goodreads

Robbie’s Rite of Passage

Promptly at eight o’clock, Robert staggered toward Robbie, who still sat by the window as if he put himself in a time-out. Weighed down by his thoughts, Robbie stared at the night sky as his dinner sat cold on the dining room table.

Robert grabbed the window frame for support and clung there. He looked at his son sternly for a long time before taking him by the arm and moving him away from the window toward the front door.

“It’s time you left and became a man! Prove to your friends, neighbors, and me that you’re not a pathetic loser.” Robert shook his head in an exaggerated manner.

“But, Dad, I’m only eleven! Don’t I have plenty of time to become a man?” His father tilted his head to the side and looked as if he had eaten something rotten. Seeing no change in his demeanor, Robbie continued, “There are rats down there. Lots of them, and they’re humungous!” Robert waved his hand dismissively and ignored Robbie’s pleas. “Dad, remember the Black Death? We just studied that in school and people got black spots and all swelled up and died! The rats caused this! Dad please!” He face was red and his nose runny.

His pleas offended his father. “Ack!” Robert pounded on the wall. “I’ve been down to the basement a hundred times. The most I’ve seen were a few mice!”

Robbie’s mom stepped forward and help him. “Please don’t make him—” Her words were strangled by a single gesture. Robert glared at her with his finger over his lips. She puffed and lowered her eyes.

He had made up his mind. No matter how much his boy or his wife begged him to reconsider; Robbie would be venturing to the basement come nightfall.

He gawked at his son and his wife through blood-shot eyes. Both of them were sobbing. He stumbled forward and bumped his leg on the sofa. He gawped at the piece of furniture, slack-jawed, for a long time. Then he looked at Robbie.

“There are tribes that send their boys out to the jungle on their own to become men. These boys have to sleep in the wild.” Robert slurred. “There’s some tribe in papa, papua”—Robert sucked through his teeth—“whatever, in Australia somewhere where boys go through six stages of initiation tests, and they begin as early as age six!”

Robbie’s mom stared at him with imploring eyes covering her mouth in disbelief.

“I believe boys need to fear their face to mature into men and the sooner they do the better.” Robert leaned over to talk in Robbie’s ear but did not bother to lower his voice. The boy winced. He could smell the beer on his breath and twisted his face. “These tribesmen rip the boys from their homes and their momma’s arms. They send ’em on dangerous adventures, often resulting in injuries, pain, and even death!” Robbie jolted and gulped.

Robbie’s mom inhaled sharply. “Robert that’s enough.”

Robert punctuated this last statement by jumping to his feet, almost toppling over, and grabbing Robbie by the arm once more. He continued to harangue. “I’m sending ya down to a dirty basement with a few mice running around. You’re getting off easy.”

Robbie looked at his mother. She stood motionless with her hand over her mouth.

Robert explained to Robbie his task was to go to the basement and kill as many rodents as he came across. He handed his son a heavy, wooden bat to use as a weapon. He told him he would be doing the entire neighborhood a great service by getting rid of the pesky critters. He also told him if he did this right, he would be a hero.

“You’re gonna have to be brave, feel the fear, and do it anyway. That’s the courage of meaning!” Robert garbled to his son.

Robbie’s dad indicated it was going to be quite dark in the basement and handed him a big, yellow flashlight. Robbie gulped. He also told him there were fresh batteries in it, so it should last the whole night if needed. Robbie stared at his father with vision blurred with tears.

The reality of the situation suddenly hit the boy; he became pale and fidgety. He began to fiddle with his clothes. He retched, but only stomach acid came up because his stomach was empty.

His mother saw his reaction and let out a mournful cry. “Please! He’s only eleven years old! He’s a boy afraid of the dark! How do you expect him to go to that creepy basement by himself? Have you lost your mind?” It was like talking to a wall.

“Lose my mind? I haven’t lost my mind. It’s right here for safe keeping.” Robert poked his head with his pointer finger. Then he turned the finger at his wife.

“You’re the reason he’s growing up weak—the reason he acts more like a girl than a boy.” He rolled his red eyes at her. “Because of you, he’s neva gonna be a real man! You mollycoddle him. It’s time the boy became a man, so cut the cord! He’s gonna do this even if it kills him!”

Robbie’s mom gasped and wept into both hands.

Robert then grabbed his son by the back of his T-shirt, opened the front door, and shoved him out so violently poor Robbie crashed to the floor on his injured knees. He winced as pain shot through his entire body. It took everything in him not to scream. He got up slowly and faced his dad, all color gone from his face.

Robert threw the bat and the flashlight at him. Robbie flinched, and both his arms flew instinctively to guard his face. “Kill as many mice as possible, and then ya can come home! I don’t care if it takes ya all night!”

Suddenly, his face softened and his voice gentled by a degree or two. “You’ll return a different person, my son. A man and a hero you will be.” With conviction, he closed the door in the boy’s face.

Robbie stood facing the door for a moment brow scrunched, wondering why he had to have Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for a dad. If only he could be in his comfy, warm bed. If only this was a nightmare and he could wake up from it. Except it wasn’t, and he couldn’t. Robbie did an about-face and began his dreary journey to the basement, thinking, this must be what a guy on death row feels like as he takes that long, last hike toward the electric chair.

~ Excerpt from THE BASEMENT by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Now available in paperback and ebook (Nook, iBooks and more) Get it on amazon

Click to purchase The Basement at amazon paperback and eBook (Kindle)

Click to purchase
The Basement at amazon
paperback and eBook (Kindle)