My story, “Demon in Aisle 6,” is out today in Nightmare Magazine. It’s about a gay romance in an unwelcoming high school, plus demons. Here’s the opener:
I first saw the demon the Sunday after you died. It was 11:53 p.m. Just seven minutes until I would have grabbed my knapsack and biked home to Mom and bed and a life of sound sleep. That night the flurries were drifting down like nuclear ash. Most folks had fled for warmer places, but a few shopper-zombies still wandered SuperMart’s bright aisles, seeking redemption in the form of deep discounts. I was wheeling a mop and bucket down to Aisle 17, where a crate of cherry soda had fallen from the shelf and sent high-fructose fizz all over the concrete floor. When I passed Aisle 6, the demon looked up at me.
I felt as if a swarm of moths had hatched in my belly and were wriggling out of their cocoons to feast on my organs, as if someone’s hand had clutched my heart and squeezed. It hurt so much I gagged, because there he stood, this giant ball of brown afterbirth, eight feet tall, hunched and crooked, one eye white and huge, like the moon on the night you died, the other this black drop of oil, a black hole sucking up all light. He was a pinwheel of jagged teeth and claws and bones, like some aborted dinosaur fetus.
You can read the rest of the story here. There is also an excellent podcast of the story via that link, narrated by Paul Boehmer.