This story doesn’t begin with my death. It begins with someone’s else’s.
Antonio is sick of his mother’s drunken, abusive boyfriend, and when Dave starts acting strange following the disappearance of a young woman, Antonio suspects he’s responsible.
But when he confronts Dave about the murder, Antonio finds himself facing down the barrel of a gun.
Waking up dead was not part of his plan.
With a Reaper at the gates and a gravestone at his back, he’ll risk his afterlife to catch his killer.
Targeted Age Group:: 14+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I was inspired by the Day of the Dead festival, and the ritual of honouring the dead. Dead Boys is the prequel novella to my paranormal romance, Dead Girls Don't Dance, and tells Antonio's story.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Toni is partly based on my own experiences of fear, anger, and loneliness, with a twist of the paranormal.
I remember staring down the barrel of a gun.
I remember the deafening bang as he pulled the trigger.
I remember the feeling of the bullet tearing through my flesh, piercing my heart.
I remember hitting the ground, seeing my own blood pouring out on the cream carpet.
I remember everything.
But my story doesn’t start with my death.
It starts with someone else’s.
I heard him coming, and I clenched my fists. The movie I’d been watching became a buzz in the background as I listened to the keys scraping against the front door – he was so drunk he couldn’t get the key in the lock, as usual.
At the dining table, Mum started to get up, laying her magazine aside. I rolled my eyes, wishing she would leave the dumb bastard to struggle. Maybe he’d give up and go sleep in the gutter.
The lock finally clicked, and the door opened with the same old whine of hinges that had been driving me nuts since we moved into this shithole six years ago. No matter how many times I oiled it, it still whined like a sad puppy.
Mum sat back down, a smile plastered on her face. “Hey, honey,” she said as he stumbled in the door, bringing with him a fog of alcohol fumes that made my eyes burn.
He grinned sloppily at my mother. “Estella! You look beautiful ton-hic-tonight!”
Mum fluttered a hand self-consciously around her hair. “Oh, but I’m not even wearing my make-up,” she protested humbly, as she always did, even though she knew she was an attractive woman for her age. She’d been pretty when she’d been younger, and her youthful charm had settled into mature lines.
Dad had always told her she was beautiful. But not in the sloppy, drunken way this buffoon did. Dad had said it because he meant it, because he loved her. Unlike the man standing before me, whose beer goggles would have convinced him a lamppost was worth a shag.
Coming around the table, Dave bent to kiss Mum, and I looked away, disgusted. I tossed the TV remote aside and stood up, preparing to leave the room.
“Where d’you think you’re goin’, boy?” Dave’s slurred voice froze me on the spot. I knew that belligerent tone in his voice. It meant he’d decided he didn’t like my face tonight, or the way I walked, or the t-shirt I was wearing.
It meant I was probably ending up with another bruise tonight.
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