Monday, March 21, 2011

The Sacred Sin by Estevan Vega Sneak Peek

Guest Post: Estevan Vega
Over the last few months, I have experienced many changes. Or shifts. For me, there's a whole lot of reason to be stoked. For starters, my new release WHEN COLORS BLEED, was unleashed with no support from a traditional publisher. At first, this concept was a daunting one, and in many aspects it remains this way. But venturing out on my own for the first time, though scary, is actually pretty liberating. It's an experiment, really. A series of gigantic question marks. What's gonna happen next? Who will follow me? Where will this lead? Well, over the course of this next year, we'll all see. You and I will take a trip to an uncharted world, a place where anything is possible. A place of horror and monsters, of fantasies and what-ifs...yes, this is the world of unbridled fiction, and this time, no backseat drivers. 

Below is a preview of things to come. This year will see the release of many things. One has already been loosed upon the digital world. WHEN COLORS BLEED has already received several high praises from note-worthy reviewers and is available right now. Go get your copy and please help me spread the word. Another is part dos in the ARSON series. Trust me, this bad boy is worth the wait. But you won't be waiting for much longer. It's coming. For real, this time. And finally, I have been working on The Sacred Sin. For those of you who don't know what that is, go find a huge mirror and sternly shake your finger at yourself and mutter something obscene under your breath, because you totally should. The Sacred Sin was the second book I ever published, and I am currently rewriting it. Not sprucing it up, or giving it a face-lift. Rewriting. The. Whole. Freaking. Book. To be honest, it's the most unique thing I've ever tried to do. It's like you've said something that's almost passable to this really hot chick in high school and she half-rejected you for it, but then you get to go back several years later, you know, after you've gone to college and now you're making bank, and you get to say something sweeter. Oh, yeah, she'll definitely go out on that date. So the whole story is getting rewritten. All that remains is the basic skeleton. Everything else is getting a major reshaping. It's gonna be pretty rad! And you're the first to check out a sample. Get stoked. Get freaked! And stay fly!

Excerpt: Sacred Sin
He could hear the wind whistling in his ears. The red sand was forming tortured clouds around his feet; eventually it climbed into both eyes and sought to make a new home. He wondered if this damned village could give him what he wanted. New whispers now blended with the air, until he could no longer tell the difference. Dry mouth, back drenched in sweat. The whispers knew he was tired, hungry, and thirsty. As he looked out into the horizon, a dark summer sun lit his vision. The sun loomed like a brooding vulture trapped inside the heavens. Was it waiting for him for company, hoping he might die before nightfall? He knew he shouldn’t think this way, believe these thoughts, but the fear of death, however dim in the back of his mind, still existed. He’d run away long ago because of a sick desire to put an end to his suffering and to control it. And here he was again, at the end of his own strengths, seeking new power and control. Not air, not heaven, neither red sands nor purple skies could break him.

“Death, the last enemy,” he muttered.

There was a sudden, piercing rhythm in his veins now. But what was it? Did it possess a name? Did it originate from within or without? There was no soul around for at least five hundred yards, he was nearly certain. When the driver had quickly abandoned him to this village, the tormented residents returned to their homes. Perhaps they knew something was about to change. But what? What lingered under his blood now?

He turned his wrist around, glancing intensely at it. Snake-like veins throbbed beneath his dry flesh, and whether he flexed or didn’t, nothing was altered. Something was alive and moving under the surface, and it stung. The snakes crawled higher up one arm, splitting off to make copies that would do the same. With every slither, he could feel them growing, multiplying, the storm in his veins now more concentrated. Screaming didn’t save him, didn’t end the torment. He dropped his bags immediately, and the shaking started.

He heard a voice, “Let it take you. Do not fight.”

But where did the voice come from? He shifted his position, but still he saw no one. Once more his vision splintered. The violent serpents were affecting him, really affecting him, showing him things he had not experienced. He was living the sins and murders of people he had never met, experiencing the dark things the serpents wanted him to. It hurt to even tremble. His heart beat was a deep echo. He looked down at his wrist again, and the veins were black, twisting his arm like a wild infection. His fingernails nearly burnt off at the tip. Every tortured breath was a gift.

“Why do you fight it, my friend?” the voice spoke again. It was the same haunting whisper he’d listened to before. “You came here for resurrection. You come to me to be reborn.” The voice belonged to Victor, or some part of it did. He thought he recognized it, but it was changed.

“Finish it,” he cried at last, but blood dripped out of his eyes. He blinked, thought it would go away. Blinked again. He was wrong. Dropping to the ground, he hugged his sides. The sting of thirsty serpents was too strong to ignore. They were moving toward his heart, he knew. But they wanted control of something else. Something he wasn’t sure he even still had.

“Some souls taste better than others, my friend. He will be pleased with yours.”

Another blink spilled more blood into the sand. More events lit the back of his eyes. Ancient, dark deeds collapsed inside fresher, recent evil. He touched his face, more red tears slipping from him. Something more wicked was coming. It began to bloom, and it was breathing new life every second, forming breaths with his breath, blinking using his eyes. Could he control it? Would he be able to bring it out and put it back when he wanted? There was a stir that crept inside him now. It was full and inviting. The connection was almost complete.

“I was a part. You are a part.” The same voice. He no longer hated or feared it. There was new ground under his feet when he rose. “You came to me for answers. You came to me for change. You came for new life, my friend. And these terrible things we have given you.” When he tried to speak, no known language came out. Syllables bled off his tongue and floated away. Words he thought were familiar could not harmonize. Instead, they were like unwanted choruses in an unknown song. Still, the foreign tongue was communicating, and now the invisible voice that haunted him from every angle had form. It was Victor, altered slightly, but the same carcass he had chased for years. As the knowledge of this dark language spread through him, he was being drawn toward the ledge. The horizon was shrinking, and it felt as if it too were part of his new territory.

His jungle to devour. His nostrils flicked, and his dry tongue smacked against the roof of his mouth, forming sounds and syllables he’d never before uttered. Through red eyes it was all now appearing before him. Through red eyes, his vision was made pure. He stepped closer to the edge. Small, jagged stones fell off the sandy cliff. He watched them splinter and break on tree roots and clefts and other boulders below. There was a bite at the center of his being. The cunning serpents had reached his heart. A new, unseen venom, forever dark, bled into him. And in a split second, the torment was no more. He feared nothing. From where he stood, the bottom lay hundreds of feet down, violent waves crashing up against rocks and other frail life. The spit once hanging at the middle of his throat finally sank into his belly.

Fearless, he let go. His body, falling in the wind, dragged by gravity and the unseen forces of the world. But his descent was quick. And there was a crash, like a wave, when his spine collapsed. As he tried to breathe once more, he found the movements complicated. His neck had snapped during the collision with the jagged rock. It was like a spear, chiseled from the earth. It now held his blood and the meat from his body. Tilting his head in a strange fashion, he felt around his new wound. But it did not bring him agony. His fingernails, what few remained, moved inside the grooves of punctured organs and splintered bones. Like stones, he mused. Like weak stones. Somehow his thoughts were still his own, even if new ones spilled in as well.

A shadow dropped over him, and with its piercing revelation, the whispers hummed once more. He pushed up off the sharp rock, which had torn a hole through his abdomen, and moved himself, ever slowly, off. The sound of ripped meat and sliding blood was a hymn. He’d hear it often, he was sure. Hitting the beach, he felt the sand crawl into his beard, mixing with the stains already crusting black. He could taste something, almost rancid on his lips. It was the call of human flesh. Human souls. He craved them.

Suddenly, the hole in his gut was piecing itself back together. His organs were no longer deformed, and their repair occurred in a matter of seconds. The twisted intestines, sticky with slime and sand, were again placed where they belonged. Moving his spine, he heard the crack of once-splintered marrow returning to its original form. His ribs followed similar patterns. Finally, each abdominal muscle was soon visible, films of thin skin reappearing over ripped tissue and skeleton.

He breathed a deep, new breath, and the craving grew stronger. He followed the shadow up the jagged mountain, climbing with his hands and feet. His eyes were blood-red, thirsty sewers. The thirst would be satisfied soon.

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