Monday, March 22, 2010

ExcerpTuesday - Margaret Grace

Margaret Grace shares an excerpt today from her novel Monster in Miniature. That's a really neat cover.

by Margaret Grace

Sam and Lillian Ferguson, pioneers in the high-tech approach to holiday decorations, had a spectacular figure on their porch every Halloween—a scarecrow with a lifelike head, a straw body, and baggy clothes.
From the street, this year's figure looked like an adult male relaxing, perhaps sleeping, on the top step. We knew that as soon as anyone got close to it, however, the mannequin would spring to life and stretch his arms wide, Frankenstein-style. His head would wobble and he'd give out a blood-curdling scream.
"Wow," said Maddie, my eleven-year-old granddaughter. "This place is wicked." She draped herself on the old picket fence, leaning in and waving her arms, hoping to get her fingers within range of the motion detector and thus provoke a scream from the floppy, limp form on the porch.
A group of teenage girls and boys happened by and crashed through the gate, laughing and prodding one another.
A human-sounding scream pierced the air. One of the teens had apparently walked within range of the motion detector.
But something was off. The creature didn't budge. The scream had come from one of the girls. "It's really a dead man," she yelled, in a hysterical voice, running back to the sidewalk.
A prank, I thought.
"We know it's all fake," I told the girl, who was either hyperventilating or a very good actress. "It's the same decoration every year."
"This year it's real," she whimpered. "I can tell because I've seen real dead bodies close up on tv."
If she weren't shaking so much, I'd have laughed.
"He's really dead," said a boy who'd gone as far as the bottom step to confirm the report. "It's a dead live man. I mean, a dead dead man." The boy's face was white. "His eyes are, like, staring, and there's a bullet hole"—he touched his forehead—"right here. And there's a gun in his hand, and there's, like, a mess."
I clicked on my phone and called my police detective nephew.
"Skip? You know how we talked about treats or tricks this year?"


Camille Minichino said...

Thanks for posting this, Chris!

I hope you'll accept a copy of MONSTER IN MINIATURE when it's released April 6.

I'd also like to offer the first 3 of your readers to request one, a signed copy. They can send an email to

KM Fawcett said...

Cool scene. It gave me chills.