It's been some time since I've posted anything, so I thought I'd share a quick excerpt from the book. Coming soon!
....He inspects his gun, then places it in the back of his pants, before covering the black metal with his shirt. “So, why are we doing this again? What does this boy mean to you?”
“Don’t worry about it. I paid you, and that should be enough.”
Pete starts the SUV. “Whatever. I just thought since I’m risking years in jail for you, I could at least get some answers. But money is money.” Pete’s concerned I’m changing, that I’m not actually just like him.
I don’t respond. This is probably the worst thing I’ve done to this point. Sure, it’s for someone else, but to threaten a man’s life goes far beyond threatening my own with drugs and alcohol. I’m not sure Jessica would even recognize the man I am right now.
Pete speeds through town, and we’re in front of Ritchie’s house in about five minutes. It’s just about dark, and I hope that Ritchie’s practice is longer than a couple of hours. I’m not sure what I’ll do if Ritchie is home.
My phone buzzes. Two missed calls from Tessa. The newest buzz a text from Joseph. She must have called him. They suspect I’m crazy enough to do something like this. They suspect right. I place the phone back into my pocket.
“Are you sure about this?” Pete asks.
“Why? Are you afraid?”
Pete fakes a laugh. “This is just another day for me.” He turns the Blazer off and gets out.
“Let’s just do this quickly,” I say.
Pete bows and points to the porch. “After you, fearless leader.”
My heart’s beating out of my chest, but I force myself to approach the front door. The rotten steps squeak under my feet, causing my body to tremble, nerves rattling. Before I allow myself the opportunity to forget that any of this happened, and run away, I’m knocking on the door. I don’t turn around, but I can feel Pete’s presence behind me.
We wait a few seconds, although it feels like an eternity. Maybe he’s not home. I’m beginning to hope so, but then I hear the telltale sound of the door handle turning.
I don’t even have time to react. I see the man’s face, horror written all over it. Pete is in front of me, the gun pointed at the man’s face. Pete grabs the fat man by his tattered shirt and pushes him inside as if he’s done this a million times. He probably has.
I feel numb. He’s done this to me. I know how this man must feel right now. I shake the thought away and force myself inside.
“Get down on your knees!” Pete yells.
Ritchie’s uncle is sobbing as he lowers himself onto the stained carpet. The house is dark and disgusting, trash everywhere—it’s just filthy. It looks like my house, except this one has had years of mistreatment.
“Don’t kill me!” the man pleads.
“What’s your name?” Pete asks, pushing the gun into the crying man’s forehead.
“Bill,” he mutters. “Please, please don’t kill me. I’ll do whatever you want.”
There’s hardly any furniture in the house, but there’s a mattress in the middle of the main living area. I’m pretty sure I see cockroaches walking across it, which makes my stomach churn. I can’t imagine Ritchie living in this dump. The boy who has so much potential, stuck in a place like this. I’m convinced that even if everything about this is wrong, it’s worth the risk to help him. I can’t let him do this to himself. I can’t let him be like me, forcing himself into a life that is a waste.
I’m drawn out of my thoughts by a loud crack, followed by Bill’s sobbing. I turn just in time to see the man double over, clenching his face.
“I think I broke his nose,” Pete says maniacally.......
Brody Lane Gregg