A Dead End Job
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Fans of Terry Pratchett and Shane Kuhn's THE INTERN'S HANDBOOK will love this noir supernatural thriller.
Death needs a vacation. Badly. But there's a catch: There are people who cheat the system, always falling through the cracks and not dying like they're supposed to. Who's going to take care of them while Death's sipping on sangria?
The answer is simple: Death needs an intern, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that one prospect, Buck Palasinski,-a bankrupt hitman with a roleplaying addiction-might have what it takes. While scoping out his next target, Buck gets drilled in the forehead by a bullet and falls right into Death's lap.
If they shove him back into his body, he'll have a few weeks to prove that he has what it takes to be Death's right-hand.
All he has to do is take out Public Enemy No. 1, John Dillinger, and quit smoking.
Read an Excerpt
CHICAGO’S CHIEF PUBLIC HEALTH INSPECTOR FOUND DEAD IN HOME
“Damn it,” Death spat, scratching another name onto his legal pad. The list was growing longer. Death picked up his steaming mug that read “I drink coﬀee for your safety” and sipped it before clicking the “next story” tab. He’d only been in his apartment’s kitchen turned home oﬃce for ten minutes and already he was at wits’ end, the top of his stylus pen half-chewed. Death, The Grim Reaper, Charon, whatever you wanted to call him, the title demanded respect. Afterall, he had held his position before men wore pants. Yet never in his career had someone been so tenacious as to start killing mortals before their expiration date. Death doesn’t even know how it could happen. He picked up his smart phone, using his stylus to dial the numbers on the touch interface.
“Yeah, Jumbo, it’s Death. How long until you get into the oﬃce?” Death leaned back in his chair and took another sip from his cup. “Well, I can assure you that you’ll get here safely.” Death sighed. “I’m sorry. It’s just been a tough morning already. Whoever this person is, they’re still getting past our system. None of these names from last night were in the program.” Death slung his boney feet on an empty duct taped kitchen chair. “Alright,” he groaned into the receiver. “I’ll reboot while I wait. See you soon.”
About the Author: Justin Alcala is a novelist, nerdologist and Speculative Literature Foundation Award Finalist. He’s author of the novels Consumed, (BLK Dog Publishing) The Devil in the Wide City (Solstice Publishing) and Dim Fairytales (AllThingsThatMatterPress). His dozens of short stories have been featured in magazines and anthologies, including It Dances Now (Crimson Street Magazine),The Offering (Rogue Planet Press) and The Lantern Quietly Screams (Castabout Literature). When he’s not burning out his retinas in front of a computer, Justin is an adventuresome tabletop gamer. He’s also a blogger, folklore enthusiast and time traveler. He is an avid quester of anything righteous, from fighting dragons to acquiring magical breakfast eggs from the impregnable grocery fortress.
Most of Justin’s tales and characters take place in The Plenty Dreadful universe, a deranged supernatural version of the modern world. When writing, Justin immerses himself in whatever subject he’s working on, from research to overseas travel. Much to the dismay of his family, he often locks himself away in his office-dungeon while playing themed videos and music over, and over, and over again. Justin currently resides with his dark queen, Mallory, their malevolent daughter, Lily, and their hellcat, Misery. Where his mind might be though is anyone’s guess.
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