As part of the Arson tour hosted by AToMr book blog tours, I will be spotlighting one of the characters.
First here's a little about the book.
Author: Estevan Vega
ARSON GABLE FEELS LIKE A FREAK. HE CAN CREATE FIRE. HE NEVER ASKED FOR IT. HE NEVER WANTED IT. BUT HE CAN'T SHUT IT OFF.
Before now, three things were true: he both loved and despised his grandmother; his life was going nowhere; and he was alone. But when a strange girl--who feels more normal behind a mask than inside her own skin--moves in next door, Arson hopes to find something he's never had: purpose. After years of living in fear, he will be forced to confront his haunting past and embrace the unknown as he walks the fine line between boy and monster. Edgy, realistic, and breathtaking, Arson, the chilling chronicle of an isolated teenager with unimaginable ability, is set to ignite the hearts and minds of a new generation.
Meet Abraham. Member of the hospice unit at Middlesex Hospital. He adds a bit of levity to the story of ARSON. After Arson screws up royally, Emery convinces him to volunteer with her for an afternoon at the hospital where her neurotic mother works as a nurse. Here, I introduce Abraham Finch, the most unique character at the hospital. Just don’t take him too seriously.
They moved down the hallway and entered room 219. Arson hadn’t even checked the information hanging on the wall outside the door.“Look who it is, my daily pain in the butt.” The voice belonged to a tired-looking, elderly man perched up in his bed. “And she brought a friend.”“Hello, Abraham,” Emery replied plainly. “It’s a pleasure to see you too.”“Now, I’m not dead just yet. Come on over here and give an old man a hug.”“Don’t mind him,” she said, turning to Arson. “I’m guessing he didn’t get a whole lot of action when he was younger, so now he’s kind of a flirt.”“She thinks she’s got me all figured out, son. Don’t they all? My name’s Abraham. Abraham Finch.”Arson reached out to shake the man’s hand. “Arson Gable.”Emery handed the old man some crackers.“So what brings a young, strapping boy like you to a dump like this?”“Abraham, watch what you say,” Emery said, noticing the old man smirk.He glanced up at her, mocked her while her back was turned, and continued. “How long have you two been…canoodling?”“Abraham, you’re a bum, you know that?”“What? It’s an honest question. What’s a boy gonna be spending his summer volunteering for if he ain’t at least dating you? Shoot, I think hell would’ve frozen over before I stepped foot in a place like this at your age.”“Well, fortunately for you, everyone’s not so ornery. You know, it’s only my second day, and already you’re acting fresh. Besides, this boy and I aren’t together.”“That’s not what it looks like to me.”“Well, maybe I should buy you a new pair of glasses.”“Ouch! This one doesn’t go quietly.” Abe’s eyes got big and wide.Arson stepped a little closer to the bed, intrigued by the man, who appeared as threatening as a stuffed animal, wrapped inside the sheets, soft buoyant cheeks puffing at the surface. His coffee-colored skin seemed loosely draped around sagging muscles and brittle bones.Emery got up and poured Abe a cup of water.“Didn’t I ask you to bring me something with a little more flavor?” he said.“The powers that be won’t let me sneak alcohol into room 219 or any other room, for that matter. I guess you’re gonna have to stay sober.”“Fine. Living was hard enough. Didn’t think dying would be this hard. Man, oh man, somebody could be dying and they won’t even give him a drink to help ease the pain.”“He’s good at making you feel guilty, but don’t fall for it, Arson. He just wants some booze.”“Okay, suit yourself. But when I come to haunt you from the grave, you’ll know why.” The old man removed his glasses and made an attempt at trying to creep her out, but the wrinkles inside his brown mug made him look like more of a snarling pug than anything that was supposed to scare her.“So have you kissed her yet? By the time I was your age, I’d kissed four gals.” Abe held up four fingers, as if he were trying to make sure he could still count.“Oh, Mr. Finch, that’s fresh.”“I know, but I’m trying to have a little bit of fun before I check out of this place. It kinda feels like purgatory. A waiting place before, you know, the afterlife crapstorm.”“Abraham Finch, keep it down. Don’t get so worked up. I’d bring some sun-tanning lotion at the rate you’re going.”“I’m sorry I’m not a pale-faced, virgin priest, but I seen some things in my day. I lived my life. Spent too much time being modest and not enough time saying it like it is.”“Well, say it like it is when other nurses and volunteers are catering to you.”“Like your mother? She’s a pretty lady, Emery.”Emery didn’t respond.“Soft subject,” Arson whispered.“So, Arson,” Abe continued, changing the direction of the conversation, “you have quite a unique name. I like it. Say, I’m a bit curious, do you like matches, kid?”“Abraham, if you can’t behave—”He folded his lips together and replied, “You’ll what? Pass on over to room 220? Lord knows I’m a dream compared to Peggy the hippo.”“Mrs. Yeshur is not as mean or as plump as you think she is. What’s gotten into you?”“Depression, constipation. In case you couldn’t tell, I’m in a hospice unit. Have some compassion, for crying out loud!”“Please. You and I both know you’re going to outlive us all.”“What good is that if I ain’t got nothing to numb the pain of cruel and unusual volunteers?”“Here he goes,” Emery said, rolling her eyes. “Abraham, what would your mother think?”“Momma wouldn’t play, but even Momma knew not to be stubborn all the time.”A smile crawled across Arson’s face as he said, “I don’t think she’s gonna budge.”“Tell me about it.”“I suppose you think you’re funny, huh? Fine.” She prepared to take the cup of water away.“Wait a minute. I’m not finished with that, thank you.” He wore a sly grin, showcasing what decay and nicotine had left behind.“Oh, now he’s content with water,” she said.“Don’t have much of a choice, do I?” Abe answered, his voice throaty and wet.“Forgive me for caring about your health,” Emery said.“Sweetheart, those uppity white suits say my number should’ve been up days ago. But I’ve been here for weeks, and I’m still kicking, ain’t I? If anything’s killing me, it’s this place, this bed. I don’t think a sip of gin is gonna send me to the grave now. Besides, if it does, I’d welcome that black-hooded fool with open arms. Heck, I’d give him a sip.”“Look, Abraham, it’s my job to help you, without booze. I happen to care about you,” Emery said. “I’m not sure why, but I do. Guess you’re like the grandpa I never had.”“You never had a granddaddy?”“Or a grandmother. They all checked out before I was born.”“What a shame.” Abe was crestfallen. “How about you, kid?”“I have a grandmother,” Arson said. “Her name is Kay.”“You love her?”Arson hesitated. “Yeah.”“Good. You gotta cherish the ones you love. Don’t leave her in a place like this to rot. It’s downright cruel. Why haven’t any of my babies come to visit me? I paid my dues in this world, Emery. Loved a good woman, raised beautiful babies, fought them blasted fools in Korea. Maybe it wasn’t enough. Maybe I’m paying for all the abuse I did to this big, black carcass of mine. Lung cancer ain’t exactly a walk in the park, you know.” His voice quivered with a deep rasp, and he started to cough.“I’m sorry, Abraham. I can’t imagine how hard this must be for you.” Emery rubbed his shoulder. “But you have me and Arson here to keep you company. Whatever you need.”“Some gin would be nice.”Emery breathed deeply, ignoring the request of the old man.She punched Arson in the chest. “Come on, Robin. He’s never gonna quit asking. Besides, we’ve got our rounds to make before we head home. Gotham needs us. Goodbye, Abraham.”As they left the room, Arson felt strange. Maybe it was relief; he wasn’t quite sure. For the few moments he’d spent with Abe, he wondered if there was any hope left. But then he turned back and for a split second focused all of his attention on the frail man lying in the bed, a bed that might as well havebeen his coffin. He saw Abe looking out the window with a vacant stare in his eyes.Heaven seemed so far away.