Estevan Vega is far from being a household name today heard in Christian circles but his is a name you soon won’t forget. Estevan Vega is perhaps one of the very best writers out there today with his first major novel Arson just recently releasing. That is one of my favorite pieces of fiction in a long time, and so when the opportunity to read his collection of short stories, When Colors Bleed, came up I could not pass it up!
The collection begins with the story Baby Blue, which is a romantic tragedy told oh so elegantly. It consists of the characters of Casey, a struggling girl who has never found love, and Thomas Rayford, a mysterious man who comes in one day from the rain looking for a suit in Casey’s store. He comes back week after week only looking at one suit, a baby blue one that no-one else will buy. He tells her how it is beautiful to him and how special it is even though he is the only one who looks at it. The story develops in a way that captured me instantly and took me along on a magical ride. The ending was as marvelous as it was tragic and it left my mind unravelling.
That is not all however. The second story is Vanilla Red, a tale of a man locked up for life in a padded cell. But what makes this story so powerful is the perspective. It is told from within the mind of this man, a man so crazy it is hard to understand. Diving beneath the skin of this character onto the path that led to this cell is almost poetic. It has a lyrical and almost beautiful feel to this horrific and terrifying story, lending the character an almost sane quality. It is some truly amazing prose and my favorite of this collection.
The final tale is called The Man in the Colored Room. It is equally mysterious as the first and as beautiful as the second, but is about a man who finds himself waking up in this colored room for an unknown reason. As the reader figures out the mystery of it all you are learning alongside the man so it really brings you into the story. The ending is unforeseen and it is truly amazing how Estevan Vega can manage it in such a short tale. You must read When Colors Bleed, and you will be hooked on his writing forever after!