Meet Margery the Demon in Call for Obstruction

margery_print-edition-postcard-sizeWelcome to day 3 of the October Frights Blog Hop. Today is all about Margery the Demon, the antagonist in The Courier series. This short excerpt is from the beginning of the 1st book, Call for Obstruction, and is about the main character, Barry’s first meeting with her.

The amazing drawing of Margery the Demon on the left was done by RL Treadway of Atrtink. It is my aspiration to turn The Courier series into a novel/graphic novel mix and she’s done an amazing job with covers and graphics.

Enjoy and if you’d like to read more, Call for Obstruction is FREE on Amazon through Friday.

Margery’s office is nothing like the typical delivery drop off site. Reminds me a little of my grandmother’s basement, or a time warp into the nineteen-seventies. Wood paneling, windowless walls, and dark brown cabinets along one wall make the room eerie despite the florescent lighting.

The empty liquor bottles scattered across an olive green counter top and beside the color-coordinated refrigerator could explain her confusion about the accident. The smoke rising from an ashtray on a nearby table tells me she’s prone to bad habits. Who am I to complain? My other bosses this year run stiff competition for worst manager of all time.

“Barry, you made it,” says a now familiar voice that seems to come out of nowhere.

I jump, turn, and look downward. A hunchbacked crone with flaming red and orange streaked hair stands behind me. Either she’s light on her feet or a magician in her spare time. Her hairdo’s combed upwards, like a troll doll, lifting her height to nearly five feet. The woman sure likes orange. It’s also the color of the leggings below her blue oversized Broncos t-shirt.

She holds out her hand. “Margery.” We shake and electricity surges up my arm. When I stumble backward, she lets go. A crooked smile turns up one side of her puckered mouth and she winks. “You find the warehouse okay?” Her breath packs a punch that smells like raw hamburger rotting in an ashtray.

With eyes popped wide from the lingering electricity, I nod my head.

She points toward the table and leaves me standing in the middle of the lobby. I follow, stroking my vibrating knuckles.

At the table, a chair slides out and hits my leg.

I pause.

The last half hour replays in my head: a strange van, an unexplained phone call, and now the furniture moves on its own.

I should have followed my first instinct. I should have gone home.

I peer across the table to tell her I’m leaving.

Margery’s charcoal eye liner spirals around a bloodshot gaze. She draws me in like a tractor beam. In a slow, hypnotic hum, she says, “Have a seat.”

I flop into the chair, but not of my own free will. Set in front of me is a foot-high stack of paper that wasn’t there a few seconds ago. I open my mouth to ask about it.

Margery shushes me and reaches for the remnant of the still smoldering cigarette in the ashtray. She holds it between her thumb and index finger, places it between pursed lips, and inhales deeply. The cigarette crackles and snaps until it fires against her skin. When there’s no more smoke to draw in, she drops the butt into the ashtray and tamps her thumb down on the red-hot tip. The aroma of tobacco mixed with burning flesh fills the air.

“Before you can work for us”—she pauses to lick ash off her blackened fingertips with a serpent-like tongue—”you must agree to a few employment terms and sign our standard contract. All our drivers sign one.”

Bile rises to the back of my throat. I swallow hard and point at the tall stack of paper. “The contract seems excessive. What’s in it?” Not that I’m going to sign it.

She falls back in her chair, lifts her arm, and a newly lit cigarette appears out of nowhere. “Top copy’s salary, fifty-five an hour plus time-and-a-half overtime. There’s other standard stuff for liability and such.” She waves her hand as if the latter part is not important.

My eyes open wide at the thought of making more an hour than any job I’ve ever landed. But I don’t like that this lady can make me sit like a trained dog. I slide my chair back, ready to get up and leave, and at the same time wonder what sort of liabilities require that much documentation?

“Driving for us or any courier service can be dangerous, among other things,” she says, as if she heard my thoughts.

“Are you talking about accidents? Are these like insurance forms?”

“Sure.” She picks up the pen and holds it out. “Like insurance forms.”

I rub the back of my neck and watch her wave the pen like a pendulum. “So if anything happens to me, I’ll be taken care of?”

“Yeah, Honey. We’ll take care of you.” That creepy grin curls up one side of her mouth again.

As much as I’d like to get the hell out of here, this job’s salary will keep me independent, not to mention buy me a new computer. Hell, I would sell my soul rather than move back in with my mother. My chair slides back up to the table with no effort from me.

“Right there at the bottom,” she says. “Sign your name and you’re employed.”

My eyes fix on the nib as it continues to sway left and right. In the background, Margery duplicates into two hovering heads, then three, then four. The more she multiplies, the blurrier my vision, until all the colors turn to blackness.

* * *

“All done,” Margery’s voice echoes in my head while the room comes back into focus.

“I signed?” Smoke belches out of my mouth. I jump to my feet and the chair screeches across the floor. “What did you do to me?”

She stands and pulls the tall stack of papers to her side of the table. “Be here tomorrow morning at six o’clock sharp.”

“I don’t think so.” More smoke escapes my mouth and clouds my vision. I turn around, full circle, and find I’m wasting my breath. There’s no one left in the room but me.

It’s probably obvious,
but what did Barry just lose?

Leave comments and you’ll be entered into a drawing at the end of the week to win gift cards from the stores listed below:

  • 1 $25 gift certificate you can use at Spencer’s or Spirits Halloween stores.
  • 2 $10 Amazon gift cards you can use on anything.

margery_avatarGET YOUR FREE COPY OF Call for Obstruction on Amazon Tuesday thru Friday this week. Margery the Demon is watching! Don’t make her use her magical cigarettes on you. CLICK HERE TO GET IT

Now move on to the next author’s blog for more fun and giveaways.

Please leave zombie movie suggestions in the comments.
I prefer movies rated below a 4 on IMDB.

Call for Obstruction Paperback Available

Call for Obstruction CoverInstead of releasing a new part of Warrant for Damnation on Wattpad today, I released Call for Obstruction on paperback on Amazon. WHOO HOO! Feels GREAT to have the book back for sale. I don’t know why I waited so long.

Hurry and get it free on eBook until September 1st. After that you’ll only be able to get it free through the end of the year if you join my mailing list. Sign up is easy. Just enter your email address in the field on the right column.

Now I’m off to do the geeky thing and finish formatting HTML files for the eBook for Amazon. I should probably finish editing part 2 of Warrant for Damnation and the next part of my marketing plan too. So little time.

Read Warrant for Damnation Part 1

I am VERY excited to announce that part 1 of Warrant for Damnation, The Courier #2 released today on Wattpad. I was going to wait until the beginning of September, but I really need to light some fire under my ass to get this novel edited quicker. New parts will release every Friday morning.

If you haven’t read book 1, Call for Obstruction, you can also read it on Wattpad. Or you can get it free on Smashwords.

Follow Barry on Twitter
Follow Margery the Demon on tumblr

TV Review: Preacher

PreacherI’m in a very confused state of mind going into this week’s review. It’s Preacher, the new AMC show, that has me perplexed. Here’s what it’s about:

“What if an angel and a demon procreate? What would that offspring be? Would it be holy or demonic or both? Preacher Is that tale. The offspring has no body, just a soul. That soul needs a body and chose Jessie. A preacher from Texas with a loss of faith and a drinking problem. The offspring called Genesis bonds with Jessie giving him the word of God. What he says is done.”

I just can’t figure out how I feel about this show. I have a laundry list of good and bad things to say about it. It’s like when you sit down, fold a piece of paper in half, and list the pros and cons, but you come up even and still can’t make up your mind.

Mainly, I come away for most show confused. It’s all over the friggin’ place, so much so that quite often it loses my interest. Maybe it’s because I haven’t read the comic series. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been watching Talking Preacher, and I’m dense and need someone to explain what I’m supposed to be leaving each show knowing. If you ask me, that alone makes it a bad show.

Still, I’m into the characters most of the time. They feel right out of a comic book, and I love that. Dominic Cooper who plays Preacher then lose my interest, and I’m back wondering why I’m watching. Same goes for the storyline. No consistency with this series. But the cinematography is awesome!

Why does Preacher keep losing me only to draw me back in with each new show? Why do I keep watching? Considering we’re 9 episodes in, I might have to tell you if something clicks during season 2, but right now I’m taking the cowards way out and rating Preacher right in the middle.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Bloody Brains

Please leave zombie movie suggestions in the comments.
I prefer movies rated below a 4 on IMDB.

The Bad News, I’m an addict; The Good News, I’m in Recovery

ScreamFor the last few years I forgot my main career goal, become a successful fiction writer. I was slapped in the face with this realization back in April. Years of goals not met sent me over the edge. That and the stress in my life was threatening to kill me, literally. Yes, literally. My immune system was on fire when I was knocked on my ass. I was an addict hitting rock bottom, my drug of choice distractions.

I’m certainly NOT looking for pity. It was one of the best things to ever happen to me. Sometimes we need to fall to get back up stronger and wiser. Now, I’m here to say, NO MORE!

The last few months have been very productive. That means I can fulfill one of my annual goals: telling fans what’s new and exciting in the worlds I create. something I’ll start doing quarterly for all my stories and monthly for The Courier series. This is my quarterly check in with fans.

margeryI sat down and brainstormed on specific content and announcements. What might the readers of The Courier series want? The answer came to me right away. Margery the demon. She makes sense because everyone who has read the first book mentions her. So I had a conversation with Margery. Those of you who have read Call for Obstruction know that Margery is the antagonist. You also know she’s a bit of a chain smoker, and that her cigarettes are packed with magic you want to avoid. Well, Margery has decided she wants to tell her backstory. Let’s just say that when she rolled one of her cigarettes between thumb and index finger, I got out of her way and let her have what she wants. So I’ll hand my blog over to Margery once a month, and I guarantee you’ll love her posts or you’ll risk her wrath. I’ll also email her stories to email subscribers, something I’ll set up in the next few weeks.

Call for Obstruction CoverI’d like to remind everyone that Call for Obstruction is available for free and will remain free through the end of the year at least. It’s been on Wattpad and is now available on Smashwords. And it’s absolutely positively edited and finished. In case you missed it, the story also has a new book cover that I revealed a few months back. It’s by the amazing RL Treadway of Artlink.

What’s that you ask? When’s the next book coming out. Well, I’m in the middle of a rewrite that’s taking longer than expected. Warrant for Damnation will release in parts starting the fourth quarter of this year. The book cover for book 2 was released a few months ago. Want to see it, CLICK HERE.

I’m also editing old flash fiction stories and re-releasing them on Wattpad. Road to Nowhere was released this week. I’m going to try to re-release a story a week and will put a link in the right column, but we’ll see how that goes. Read them while you can. They’ll only be there temporarily before they’re officially published in a collection.

That’s all for this quarter. Until October. Whoo hoo! Halloween!

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