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Everyone has a monster inside
THE COLD SPOT
Clay Daniels is an outcast among outcasts. Cursed with a terrible birthmark on his face, his life is an endless misery of teasing and physical abuse from his classmates. Things only get worse when his parents die and he's forced to move in with cruel relatives who make the torture of school seem like paradise. Then everything changes when he meets a boy named John in the woods behind his house. John and his friends don't care what Clay looks like, or that he's not strong or particularly smart. That's because they're dead, and the dead don't discriminate. Their acceptance of him helps Clay overcome his initial fear, and soon he's doing all the cool things he always dreamed of-sneaking out of the house, drinking beer, smoking cigarettes, and hanging out in a hidden cemetery. For the first time in his life he knows the joy of having friends. Friends who treat him as an equal. Friends who have his back when trouble comes along, and even stick up for him against his violent cousin. But John and the others harbor dangerous secrets. The secrets of the Cold Spot.
Hard to believe this is the first novella I ever wrote. I hadn't intended to; when I came
up with the idea for a ghost who befriends a troubled boy, I thought it would just be a short story. But it kept growing, and I kept coming up with plot twists, and eventually I knew it had to be something longer.
After I wrote it, it sat around for a year or so before I submitted it to Dark Fuse/Delirium's new novella line. It came out in limited edition, and sold out in less than a week. Even though now it's only available as an ebook (Amazon and this website), it remains one of my more popular publications to date.