Mali and Roberta like to raise demons for fun, but it’s not so much fun for innocent–or not so innocent–bystanders!

This story is the first appearance of Mali Gianelli, the main character of Crosser, the first Barrow City novel, due out in 2016.

  • About 1600 words long
  • 99 cents on all platforms
  • Amazon release date May 4, 2015

Read a sample of the story below. (The “try a sample” function on Amazon other platforms cuts off before the story actually starts due to length and formatting for some titles. Plus, the samples here at Barrow City are carefully selected, not necessarily always the beginning of the story–and they’re usually longer, too!)

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The Death and Permanent Storage of Picket Fence Pete

a Barrow City story

The dank basement was lit only by a few bare forty-watt bulbs, strung at intervals from the cobweb-covered ceiling. It was a wonder the electricity was even on; Mali figured this was an oversight on the part of Barrow City Power. Two walls of the storage room were lined with heavy-duty shelves that were stacked high with cardboard boxes. The boxes contained, Mali presumed, the excess belongings of the people who’d lived in this building before it caught fire a few years back, things they’d shoved out of sight rather than throwing away, in case they ever decided they needed them again.

The boxes on the bottom shelves had been water damaged beyond all hope, but the ones on the upper shelves were salvageable. Taped and re-taped, coated in a thick layer of dust and grime, and surely crawling with many-legged inhabitants, but essentially sound. Figuring they were going to be stuck here for a while, Mali began digging through the box nearest her: a tall one full of old magazines and comics.

She could hear Pete’s gurgling and gasping behind her, could hear Roberta trying to help him, and then simply to comfort him. Mali didn’t care; he’d been stupid enough to come down here with them. Roberta had warned him what she and Mali were coming down here to do, what he was coming along to witness. But he’d been too keen to get into Roberta’s pants to hear what she had to say.

Maybe he hadn’t believed in demons. Bet he does now, Mali thought, smirking to herself…