The Little Saints

$12.99

To only be exposed to the light—it is a tragedy. The best art is a rhythmic mingling of light and shadows, darkness and illumination…

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Description

 

“However seriously you can take life knowing that all things existed before you and will exist after you—take it just that seriously.”

Madrid, 1980

One bright-eyed boy is determined to start a revolution with his music. One lonely girl simply wants to reclaim her life from persistent tragedy. When boy meets girl, these two opposing worlds will fall in and out of place.

Both an ode to fancy-free first love and the Manic Madrid Movement of the 1980s, The Little Saints is a coming-of-age story with lessons so profound, it is sure to touch the young, old, and everyone in between.

Excerpt

 

THERE WAS MORE blood inside of Luis Rafael than Ana Lucia could have ever dreamed, despite how many times he spoke of blood. May 21st —the last day of his life—she realized that he had always been nothing but a bag of blood.

After her grandfather’s blood was spilled, Ana Lucia glanced from the burgeoning pool of blood to the knife on the kitchen floor, unsure of her next step.

She stood alone in that kitchen like the orphan who her grandparents had first picked up from the airport.

Today, as she walks home from La Vida, Ana Lucia searches herself for the answer she’d asked when the knife first sunk into her grandfather’s gut.

It is the answer to why. Ever since Tragedy the First, the question has been the same.

As Ana Lucia looks at the line of trees on the sidewalk, her vision blurs, as though looking out of a subway car.

The answer to Why should never be found. No, it should never be found. It’s not for a person to know. For if a person knows the answer to Why, his search is over. When the search is over, it is surely time to die.

But Ana Lucia doesn’t want to die. She’s only five steps away from her apartment building. She wants to live.

 In her apartment, she can share in the lovely ignorance of a boy who doesn’t know Why and has no reason to ask Why. If she can make it to him…

If the prayer will work again.

“Don’t let the monster come out,” she prays to the unknown God. Maybe He is in the copper moon, holding the answer to Why on His hip.

 The copper moon is increasing in size at mutant speed and along with it, the visions in Ana Lucia’s brain. The visions bloom and bulge, taking up the expanse of her mind, visions of a punctured throat and an exposed heart with one beat remaining.

The visions are pushing to the surface, the monster is reaching his hand up through the dung. She tries to will herself from walking up the apartment building stairs to her unit, but she cannot. If she stops, she will be caught suspended outside. Who will know what to do with her?

Entering her apartment, she knows there are only a few minutes left before control will be gone and her body will be locked inside the prison of her mind.

Hearing Bobby rustling with something in the bedroom, she decides she must go to him. She must urge him out of the house, so he won’t be witness again to her maladie du pays.

In the bedroom, he stands next to her pillar of books. A pair of her word-tattooed sneakers are beside his feet. He holds the one drawing of her parents she has managed, the one where she stands between them by the sea.

Fear meets possessiveness, producing an alien anger in Ana Lucia.

“Why do you have that?” she says, snatching the drawing from his hands.

His brows squinch. “I found it. How come you never showed me this? You were a gorgeous little girl. I’d would’ve found a way to kiss you back then.”

“Why are you doing this?”

“I didn’t mean to go through your stuff.” He tries smiling. “I’m just obsessed with you, Ana Lu, that’s all. I found the paintings before, and I was really—I mean, some of them really freaked me out, and I don’t know what they all mean, but I know they come from the kind of genius anybody would chop off his ear for. I knew you could sketch—I’ve seen you doodling or whatever—but I didn’t know you had the gift, Ana Lu. Not until I found the paintings. People like me work sun up to sun down hoping for a little bit of talent, but other people—people like you—were born with the gift. You got the gift free of charge, Lu.”

Her mouth tightens, though she is aware that anger has not done the tightening. It is the monster, the one who will soon take over her whole body.

Bobby reaches tenderly for her waist. She shoves his hand away with what control remains.

“Get out,” she manages, saliva at the corner of her mouth.

“You’re serious? Ana Lu, what’s up? What—”

“I told you to get out. I mean, get out.” Her breathing is a hot kettle. “You can’t stay here anymore. I don’t want you here.”

“Calm down, okay? I’ll put it away.”

Poor Bobby. He can’t see it—there’s no putting it away. It’s out.

She begins pushing him at the center of his chest, cursing him in Spanish, staring at her strong hand as it pushes him to the front door. She cannot look at his eyes for fear that her mercy might be misguided, that she might let him stay.

“Out, Bobby! Out!” she screams, shaking her shoulders from his grasp.

“Ana Lu—”

One more push and he is out the door. She slams and locks it behind him.

What is left of her can only feel grateful that she got him out before she becomes a wax statue again.

What is left of her won’t ask Why. Being trapped in her own body like this with no escape, asking Why would be too dangerous, for the question of Why will surely always be bigger than any answer to it.

 

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