Mike Hascal can’t wait for the day when he grows up and gets to take over his family’s horror shop. He and his friends go to Hascal’s Horrors every day after school where Mike’s sister, Julie, has run the store ever since their father died. However, a tragedy seven years ago forced the shop to close to the public. A boy, Shawn Mackey, went into the woods to try to take a picture of a ghost for a contest the shop was holding, and he never made it out. The Mackey family then forced the Hascal family to take customers by appointment only and never let any kids into the store.
When business, gets slow and a woman complains about her grandson, Freddy, hanging out at the store, Julie is forced to ban Mike and his friends from the shop. To save his store, Mike and his friends decide to solve the mystery of what happened to the missing boy, hoping that the Mackey family will let them reopen the shop to the public. Using their knowledge of horror movies, Freddy’s help, and Mike’s family’s supernatural powers, they go on an adventure to save the family’s shop and bring Shawn Mackey’s family peace.
Read an excerpt:
…Jason’s hand shot up in the air, and he cried, “Mr. Peterson! Mike Hascal’s throwing food!”
Mike’s jaw dropped. Mr. Peterson made his way over to Mike’s table.
“Are you throwing food?” he asked.
“I…they were throwing food first!” Mike exclaimed.
“Was not! Stop lying, Mike,” Jason called behind him.
“I saw food flying,” said Mr. Peterson, “Why would he say it was you if he was the one throwing it?”
Mike couldn’t control himself. Mr. Peterson was calling him a liar. He couldn’t take anymore today, and he exploded.
“Because he knows no one will get him in trouble because his Mom’s the Vice Principal!”
“All right. Enough,” said Mr. Peterson with a red face, “Let’s go.”
Mike could tell that Mr. Peterson knew that Mike was right, but he was going to make Mike take the blame anyway. Mr. Peterson didn’t want to tell Vice Principal Creed that her son was causing trouble.
“It’s not his fault,” Corey said, in his innocent way as Mike stood up to leave, “He was just defending the girls.”
“He should know better,” said Mr. Peterson.
He lowered his bushy, gray eyebrows at Corey, “You don’t repeat bad behavior to stop others from doing it.”
Corey shut up at this. Just then, a large chunk of bread hit Mike on the back of the shoulder, bounced and hit the top of Corey’s head. They both flinched. Mike heard snickering behind them. Mr. Peterson didn’t seem to notice. Mike’s anger bubbled up again, and without thinking, he grabbed a handful of fries from his tray and launched them over the girls. They all screamed and ducked. The fries rained down on Jason’s table.
“Oh ho! You’re in trouble now,” Mark Masters cried from Jason’s table as the other boys all made “he’s in trouble” groans.
Jason was furious, and in plain sight, he threw his fries back at Mike. Corey jumped in and threw his empty apple sauce dish and milk carton. The girls joined in, throwing their empty garbage at Jason and his friends, who threw it back at them.
“Enough!” Mr. Peterson cried as more tables joined in.
The lunch room erupted into chaos. Kids picked up whatever food they had left on their plates and threw it: empty milk cartons, plastic spoons and forks, trays of apple sauce, whipping them in every direction. Bits of apple sauce, milk droplets, fruit juice and French fries rained down on the room. An uneaten chicken sandwich even flew across the room at one point, making everybody laugh and scream and throw even harder. There was food everywhere. No one was safe. This didn’t happen every day, and it might never happen again so everyone went for it. Even Mike was smiling as he got a few more throws in before Mr. Peterson grabbed him by the shoulder and held him still.
“That’s it!” Mr. Peterson screamed at the top of his lungs.
A few other teachers jumped in to help stop the food fight, but it was no use.
Laura Smith is a writer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She earned her B.A. in Creative Writing from Carlow University in 2007. She works for a Long Term Care Insurance Broker and is currently working on her third novel. She has written poetry published in Rune Magazine, Voices from the Garage and Falling Star Magazine, Blast Furnace Press, The Lavender Review, James Dickey and Torrid. In her spare time she enjoys watching movies, reading, watching The Pirates and Steelers games and working on art projects. Saving Hascal's Horrors is her second ebook. Her first ebook, The Stable House, is available here.