Walls Part Three

Sash sighed as he typed the final word that he wanted to write. Panic flashed through him for a moment as he realised that he had forgotten to be discreet but, reading it back, he breathed a sigh of relief. It seemed like he hadn’t said enough to give himself or the Revolution away.

He stared at the screen as he waited for a reply.

Ten seconds, thirty, a minute. Two. Five.

Nothing.

He wondered if he’d sacred the woman off — it wouldn’t surprise him. After all, he’d scared his parents a million times over; his brother was terrified of him now, he knew. Even with Tom, he occasionally saw a flash of fear in his eyes. It was as if they were scared that what he had would catch.

Something came up on the screen. She was finally replying.

Aleks, it’s me. I’m sorry I lied to you; this was a mistake. A really big one. I’m coming home now — please, just wait for me to get back. Then we can talk about this. T

He read it ten times before he understood what it said. Tom had made it all up? It didn’t make any sense. Tom knew that he could ask him anything. Anything. He might have difficulty telling him, but he’d try his best.

He hadn’t felt this betrayed since Tam had locked him up on… on that day. He trusted Tom. Or at least, he had. Now… Now he didn’t.

There was a bad side of breaking down the wall inside his brain, and he was on it. He looked around desperately, not even sure what he was looking for.

Before he could find it, Tom ran through the door.

“Aleks –”

“No.” His voice was rough with suppressed tears. It felt like years since he had cried.

It’s going to be okay, Sash. Don’t cry.

“It was a mistake, Aleks, I know it was. But I’m worried about you.”

Sash shook his head. “Aren’t you always? Isn’t that what this is about? You worry about me, I mope? It goes around in circles until one day — you hope — the circle stops? After all of the things that have happened…” He looked away, unable to watch Tom realise that what he’d done was worse than he could ever imagine. “He told me that he’d make it. Annie told me he’d be fine. Lies. Everyone I love lies, and I’m sick of it.”

Tom sighed behind him. “We do it because we love you. They were trying to protect you.”

He snorted, turning back to the man that had found himself picking up the pieces from that ‘protection’. “And that went so well, didn’t it? Protecting me?”

“They tried.” Tom glanced up at Sash, his eyes showing discomfort. “Aleks, I’m just trying to protect you. What you said about the voices, I just –”

“If you’d asked me, I would have talked to you. Because I trusted you, Tom. But not now. You don’t get to tell me what to do, either,” he added, the final, crumbly bits of wall exploding outwards from the intensity of his rage. He took a moment to adjust to the idea that he’d be able to feel again and walked straight out of the flat.

This is more of a cliffhanger for me than for you, I’m afraid, since this doesn’t come with the context that Sash going out means people recognising and killing him — oh look, you have context. To be continued…

Shade of Misinformation

This week, you’re getting what seems to be a bit of a recurring theme on my blog. No, I’m not talking about my fangirling (though I should cut down on that, I agree). Today, I want to talk to you about the responsibility of YA authors.
In my last post about this (if I remember rightly), I said that no, authors don’t have a responsibility. They shouldn’t preach to us; they should use their love of words to show us things that they think we need to see. However, every now and again, there is a thin line between not being preachy and perpetuating cycles of misinformation and stigma that some authors just don’t know the right side of.
I am writing all of this specifically about a couple of books I read lately, part of the Shade of Vampire series. I’m not reviewing it here, so I’ll quickly skip over the general flaws, tendency to have giant plot twists that are somehow just not interesting at all, and the fact that the books barely deserve to be called novellas let alone novels because they’re less than two hundred pages each. What bothered me most about these books is the stereotypes and outright lies that were used.

Continue reading

Walls Part Two

I apologise for the non-existent post last week, but things just weren’t happening. Today however, they are. As the post title probably gives away, this is a continuation¬† of my post from two weeks ago. Also, this is quite depressing, even for me. Be warned.

It was cruel of him, and he knew it.

Tom stared at the screen in front of him as Aleks’ thoughts and feelings came flooding through the odd, new contraption of the internet. He’d always thought that new technology would lead to evil, and finally he’d been proved right. There was no Pink Fey therapist waiting on the other end of the line. It was a shitty fake website that he’d made in about two seconds for exactly this purpose.

He glanced around the Costa guiltily, feeling as if everyone was watching him doing wrong. He’d only just earned Aleks’ trust — it had taken the tending of various serious wounds to do it, but he’d got there — and now he was throwing all of that away just because he was impatient to get his friend better?

He shook his head. This was wrong. Cruel. Evil. And if Aleks ever found out…

He took a deep breath, ignoring all his worries as he stared at the screen, trying to make sense out of Aleks’ crying-jag-fueled ramblings.

I don’t know how helpful this is gonna be, but.. um… hi.¬† I can’t feel things.

I.. not like that. I don’t mean it like that. I just mean that — I don’t know why he is making me do this, I’ve written all of this in my diary (I don’t mean he’s making me do this, of course not, he told me it was my choice) — I feel like there’s a wall between me and my feelings. I put it up a while ago. Someone really important to me … well, something bad happened under terrible circumstances, and it was awful and I couldn’t stand it and I found myself building this wall to keep my feelings away. Or was it the drugs that built the wall? I can’t remember but I know that there’s a wall and it’s falling down now and at first I thought maybe that was a good thing but after all of the things that I’ve done and that have happened I don’t know that getting my emotions back is a good thing. I don’t know that it’s going to go well or if I’m going to… it hurts. So much. And this kind of thing is a lot easier to write in my diary than to say, even to a stranger. I don’t know how to put it into words to be honest with you. I feel trapped sometimes, but then other times I feel like I need protecting. Restless and lethargic. Sad and… ridiculously happy. He makes me smile and laugh and it makes me feel even more broken inside. It makes me miss… the person that… horrible things happened to. It makes me feel guilty for being able to laugh. It makes the voice in my head say mean things.

Tom stopped reading there. He didn’t think Aleks had ever told him about this, about a voice telling him what to do. He would have been a lot more worried if he’d already known about this. He cursed the estrangement that had seemed to occur between his friend and his niece. Annie could have helped him if they would talk to each other. Perhaps it was Tom telling Aleks about his link to Annie and her brother that had done it. He’d not painted the nicest picture of either of the siblings — partially to shake the worship-like love that his friend held for Rath, but partially because he was bitter about what they had done to their mother. Either way, he couldn’t have made any of this more of his own damned fault if he’d been Aleks’ disgusting father, or his Maker, or Rath himself.

At least if he was Rath, he wouldn’t have to see the aftermath of what he’d done.

He sighed and carried on reading.

Well, it seems I’ve started writing a serial thing. With lots of spoilers for the few snippets of novels I’ve written for this. Grand. Next week will hopefully be back to relatively normal scheduling — as for this, expect the next episode every fortnight, because why not?