Fiction that explores the monsters and strangers among us.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hags Begins Today

Welcome to the first installment of this extended preview of my novel Hags. I won't post the entire novel here, but you'll read enough to see if you want to read more. At the end of the episodes appearing  here, I'll make the Kindle version available free for five days on Amazon so you can finish it at your leisure. And if you simply must have the entire book right away, you may purchase the paperback or Kindle version by clicking here.

Today's blog post starts Chapter 1. But first, here's a quick summary: After 15 years in prison for a rape he insists he didn’t commit, Micah Probert returns to his hometown of Naperville, Illinois, where he starts his first day by discovering a human-sized faerie flitting about in his backyard, a dead body in the parking lot behind his house, a pioneer ghost in his kitchen, and a local coffee shop that serves the darkest roast this side of Hades. Mix in a few dark secrets, a couple of serial killers, a hot romance or two, and this novel takes you deep into the heart of horror in the suburbs.

As one of my Amazon critics wrote:
“For a story dealing with such dark topics, Hags surprised me with its genuine humor. Once all the pieces are on the table, the story has a very distinctive and clever personality that flows quickly…. you'll find Hags a delightful read that may have something to say about fear, lust, greed, brokenness and most importantly, redemption.”

Hags Chapter One

From the mattress on the floor of the back bedroom of his antique Victorian fixer-upper, Micah Probert heard a far off scream. An equally distant clang of heavy metal followed. Then two muffled voices, a male and a female. The sound of feet scampering followed by a loud buzz made Micah picture a prehistoric dragonfly. Then came the silence.

Micah dragged his six-foot bulk to an upright position and maneuvered stoop-shouldered around the stacks of book boxes cluttered about the bedroom. The ancient pine floor boards creaked under his weight as he made his way to the window. He absorbed the aroma of damp, clean night air after a storm.

Darkness prevented Micah from seeing into the small backyard of his downtown Naperville, Illinois, property. A series of streetlights illuminated the parking lot behind his yard. The light changed colors as it filtered through the raindrops on the window panes.

At the far end of the lot, he made out the dumpsters, five in a row, bathed in the harsh glow of a streetlight. One had its lid ajar. All were wet with rain.

Micah wasn’t sure if he imagined the hand, wrist and arm sticking out from under the metal top of one dumpster.

The police will accuse me. No, they won’t have any evidence. Still, if I report it, they’ll accuse me. No, they’ll suspect me if I don’t report it. Dead either way. So’s the person in the dumpster. It could be a dummy, part of a college prank. The person may still be alive. And maybe I’ll drive myself crazy with hallucinations.

A black cat stepped out from under the dumpster and called out in a loud, lispy meowr with a big, toothy grin.

Cats can’t smile, can they? And why does that one meow with a lisp?

Micah ran down the steps, tripped over a stack of three large clothing boxes in the entranceway, and made his way into the kitchen where he knocked over a chair. He noticed a wispy mist with a barely-there woman in the center dressed like a pioneer. She sat across the table from Micah, devouring an equally wispy bloody chunk of raw leg of lamb. After a quick little half scream, he stared for few seconds more before opening the back door.

Click here to continue.

If you don't want to wait to continue reading Hags, purchase the paperback or Kindle version right now by clicking here.

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