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Excerpt from The Ordinary Monster

Junior lie on his stomach in the pile of bedding that sat on the dirt floor trying not to put any pressure on the bluish-purple welts that crisscrossed the scars from older lashings. With his head tucked into the crook of his elbow, he fought back the tears that threatened to erupt from his eyes. But these were not tears of pain. These were tears of frustration and anger — an anger that bordered on rage . . .

Junior continued to seethe . . . It was not his fault that he now had only those two fingers. It was not his fault that his sister, Luciana, lie in a hospital bed some twenty miles away unable to move her legs. It was not his fault that Hector had come into their house that morning . . .


For a brief moment, Junior thought that his fury would overwhelm him. A heat rose within him that burned. It burned almost as much as the charring of the cast iron that licked and finally ate his fingers. That searing urged him to rise from his bedding and retrieve his nemesis — the old leather belt . . . It whispered into his ear that he should take that evil tool and turn its fury onto his father and that he should do this now, tonight, while the old man was drunk and passed out and unable to fight back . . .


Slowly Junior rose from his place on the floor intent upon obeying the whispers of his fury . . .

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