Alexis vs the Afterlife by Marcus Alexander Hart

Alexis vs the Afterlife by Marcus Alexander Hart

Author:Marcus Alexander Hart [Hart, Marcus Alexander]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781074862404
Publisher: Canaby Press, LLC
Published: 2019-07-08T16:00:00+00:00

Chapter Fifteen

Clurseda’s mall is surprisingly difficult to find. I mean, we can’t exactly look up the address without a phone. And the map on the clusterpunk GPS isn’t detailed enough to show it. So we spend a few hours driving, looking, and hoping.

Wycock’s in the back seat, I’m at the wheel and Yin’s at my side, tuning her Spectro-Dowser. After our heart-to-heart in the prison she made me promise not to tell the prince her secret. The poltergeist shrapnel was mentioned by name, but there was an unspoken understanding that “secret” was all-inclusive. Even so, it seems like every time she reaches for a screwdriver or pair of pliers on the seat between us her hand somehow “accidentally” brushes my leg.

It’s sweet, in a “peeking out of the closet” kind of way. And so distracting I’ve almost forgotten what we’re even doing by the time Wycock pounds the window and shouts, “There it is!”

I follow his gaze to a long, weather-beaten monstrosity of a building, gilded in textured brown concrete that makes it look like a pee-stained cardboard box. The parking lot is a field of empty, weed-infested blacktop with a tiny smattering of cars near the entrance.

“Are you sure this is the place?” I ask. “It looks abandoned.”

Yin raises her Spectro-Dowser and messes with the LEGO plugs. “Hold on. Let me set this for manifestation energy and see if—” She snaps the last brick into place and the meter bursts into a clicking frenzy, spiking its needles into the red.

“Okay then. This is definitely the place.”

I turn the car toward the grim facade of the main entrance. Most of it is boarded up, as if patching a huge hole. Above six glass doors in various states of disrepair sits a broken sign reading “C_ursed_ Mall.” I can’t tell if the missing letters have fallen off or been intentionally removed.

Taking full advantage of the whole ghost thing, I drive straight through the doors and down the wide central corridor. The mall is technically open, but just barely. Most of the darkened storefronts are covered with plywood board-ups or faded newspapers full of stories about the O.J. Simpson trial. Everything is streaked with badly concealed water damage, and half the lights in the ceiling are burned out, casting the mall into dingy shadow. The jammed-up escalators look like they haven’t run in my lifetime. A rat knocks over a garbage can, spilling trash across our path. Even the trash seems old.

I wrinkle my nose. “Ugh. Clurseda’s mall makes its prison look like a day spa.”

We get out of the car near one of the few open shops. It’s a mom-and-pop joint that looks less like a store and more like a garage sale. On the outside a vinyl banner reading “Cynthia’s Antiques” is stretched over an illuminated sign that clearly says “Tape World.”

Yin sweeps the Spectro-Dowser back and forth and it clicks and chatters like a caffeinated chipmunk. “This is odd. If the Dowser reads true, this whole mall is surging with manifestation energy.


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