- Available in: Ebook, print coming soon
- ISBN: B010RXMTUS
- Published: August 2, 2015
Excerpt From Hypastraxia Volume I
I don’t mind Evan coming over, really. He’s what you would call old for his age. Reads a lot, has only two friends that I know of, doesn’t bother playing sports.
I mean I wouldn’t normally care about him barging in here.
He comes pelting into the house through the back door, dumping his shoes off in a practiced move that makes me wonder how he keeps the useless things on in the first place.
“I’m in here,” I call from the bathroom.
He makes it past the kitchen without noticing, around the dining room and its hideous, filthy beige carpet without noticing, and then I see his head peek around the doorframe, maybe wondering if he’s ever going to catch me in my underwear. Never gonna happen.
“What’s going on with… whoa.”
He freezes, slack-jawed in amazement. Maybe this is the most he’s ever seen of me. I’m standing there in just my t-shirt and fencing pants. Maybe if I’d been wearing the chest protector, this wouldn’t have happened. Regardless, I’ve got my shirt scrunched up as far as I can get it without being obscene, and he’s in the middle of gaping, not at my belly button, but at the gash I’m cleaning out.
“Wha… ah, what transpired here?” he manages.
I like this about Evan. He may not know it, but he and I are a lot alike.
“What transpired here is some serious breakdown of the laws of the world,” I tell him. He nods like this means something. “My dad hit me for the last time.”
He nods again.
“When’s your mom coming home?”
Evan’s been asking this one for a few weeks. I don’t have the heart to tell him.
“Come here. You’re going to do something I really don’t want to do.”
“I don’t think I want to.”
The cut is kind of deep, but I blocked my dad from really giving me the gut shot. It’s bleeding, but not too badly.
“Shut up and come here.”
“You gotta go to the hospital.”
I give Evan the look I always used to give him when I was babysitting him. No questions, no deviating from the plan, no saying no.
“…why not?” he asks. Weakly. One thing I don’t like about Evan. You’d think that with everything he takes from his brother, he’d be able to stand up for himself better.
I don’t go to the hospital because Hypastraxia. I don’t head to the police because Hypastraxia. I don’t call child services because Hypastraxia. It’s a pretty common theme here.
I head into the master bedroom, and this is going to be the absolute last time I ever come here. Maybe I’ll come back to burn the place. Maybe not.
It stinks like cheap whiskey and that funky fishy stink you get when salmon slime drools all over your counter, and a bit gets down that little space between your counter and your fridge. You’re forced to move the stupid fridge to get all of it. You don’t get all of it, it gets all crusty and yucky, and anyway. It’s worse than that.
I sidestep the crusted periwinkle puddle and sit on the bed. It hurts, but whatever. I’ve been hurt before.
“Don’t step on that,” I tell him. He seems transfixed by the idea that a girl’s stomach is uncovered and it’s not the middle of the summer at the beach. And maybe that he’s in the room alone with me. In the house alone with me.
The mostly dried goop on the floor gets his mind out of the gutter in a hurry, and he makes a disgusted noise. Good, okay, focus kiddo.
“This is a bottle of hydrogen peroxide,” I tell him. “What you’re going to do is pour most of it right in here.” I point to the bleeding gash. Most of the blood is cleaned up, but it’s seeping again. Great.
“You’re going to do this so I don’t get an infection.”
“You can just go to the hospital. My mom says you’re, I mean—”
“I don’t care what your mom thinks. Evan, look at me. My dad did this. You know what’ll happen if I go in there? Police are going to start asking questions. Let’s say we don’t have to worry about Hypastraxia at all, the social services people are still gonna try to figure out what happened, and then they’ll take me away, and I can’t let that happen.”
He nods miserably. He’s got to buck up, especially if this Hype thing goes the way I see it going. I can’t have courage enough for the four of us. Josh, I mean, he’s a pretty good guy, but he hasn’t got two brain cells to rub together to start a fire. Plus there’s the fact that he hates me.
“After you pour this in, we’re going to scrub, and I’m probably gonna scream.”
He’s turning green.
“Come on, I let you watch the Boondock Saints and never told your mom about it.”
“Yeah,” he says, faintly.
“Remember that scene where they do their own doctoring?” Now I imitate Evan’s voice, and badly. “Wow, that was such a sweet scene. Such blood, wow iron.”