Part existential deep dive, part revenge drama, HEXIS by Charlene Elsby is a book that will make you think, cringe, cry, laugh & hope for a release that can only come through sweet murderous catharsis.
HEXIS OFFICIAL RELEASE — FEBRUARY 2020
I’m not relentless. “Relentless” makes it sound like there’s something called “relent” and that I’m lacking it. In that sense, I’m not relentless, but perhaps I’m unrelenting. I could relent if I wanted to. But he always has to die. I mean “always” in two senses: at all times and all of the time. I can’t kill him all of the time. That would take too long. But all of the times I did, I did. I’d do it again. I could relent if I wanted to, but instead I’d do it again. If he’s different, then he’s the same and if he’s the same, he’s got to go. If he were different and not the same, then there would be two things and I’d only have to kill one of them. If only I only had to kill one of him. What a life I would live, if only I only had to kill him the one time. But death doesn’t always do him in.
COVER DESIGN BY MATTHEW REVERT
EXCERPT FROM HEXIS
I followed the taillights of the car ahead with the same thought I always had: if something suddenly appeared on the road, the car ahead would be the first to hit it. I would see the taillights suddenly decrease in velocity, and then I would do the same. Without staring at those taillights, I would have trouble driving after dark. When there was no car ahead, I was the one responsible for noticing when someone or something suddenly appeared. But that wouldn’t happen this time, since I was following the car ahead.
The problem with any good plan is temporality. That’s what it always came down to. The story would go fine without it. After eighteen years, we reunited, it would say. He confessed that he had never been able to love anyone like he had once loved me, and I allowed him the opportunity to prove himself, to show me what it would be like, now that he had changed—now that he had grown. We were so young then, with so much to learn. Just have a coffee and let me show you, he said. Of course I would; I practically had to. I would go to the coffee shop and drink a coffee. It’s a thing that I did. If he were there too, drinking coffee, and happened to be talking, I couldn’t help but listen. So of course I would. There was basically no way around it.
Ph.D., is the Philosophy Program Director in the Department of English and Linguistics at Purdue University Fort Wayne. HEXIS is her first novel. Follow Charlene on Twitter @ElsbyCharlene