Lenny Petrakas is worried about her skin. Not the way you’re thinking. Not like that at all. While most people spend time concerned about dirt and elasticity, temperature and moisture, Lenny has a more pressing problem. Something is after her. Something evil that won’t stop until it has peeled every last inch of skin from the teen’s body. And then, it may end her misery quickly, or it may dump her body in the woods. Let infection and dehydration run its course.
Lenny is just your normal sixteen-year-old girl. Was. Was just your normal sixteen-year-old girl. Quiet and polite. Petite. Introspective, but not to the point of isolation. Loyal? Fiercely so. Outstanding? Noteworthy? Different? No, no, and no. Or so she thought. What started as an eerie feeling, a certainty that someone had been in her room while she slept, has spiraled into something far worse. Something was in her room. Something that finds her highly different, extremely noteworthy, and intensely outstanding.
Game over? Wrong. Lenny’s a fighter, and she isn’t about to lie down and take what’s coming to her. Enlisting the help of her best friend, a not-so-secret admirer, the hottest guy in school, one odious cheerleader, and a paranormalist teacher, Lenny is facing her fears head on, in a battle she knows can only end in death.
So, you see how I rambled on in that paragraph? Well, there’s only so much room for rambling in a book. I mean, as much as I love to go off on tangents, a novel can only take so much of that before it becomes ridiculous. That’s why the internet invented blogs. Now people like me have somewhere to go and spout off crazy thoughts to their hearts’ content. To that end, I created my own little spot on the web, writerunsolicited.blogspot.com, where I ramble on like you wouldn’t believe, mostly about my new book, The Boo Hag.
Today, after begging and pleading for months to get the opportunity, I’m bringing a little piece of my blog over to Words Like Silver. Okay, that may have been a little more dramatic than what actually happened. It was more like I sent an email, and Grace was awesome enough to let me come hang out with you guys for a little while. I really do, though, feel honored to be here. Grace has created quite an amazing space, and if she had said no to my initial request, I am confident I would have spent months at least trying to change her mind.
Anywho, as a writer, I feel that it is my duty to reach out and connect with people. I take that responsibility seriously, and I’ve taken something great—answering fan mail—and combined it with something absolutely horrifying—Mondays—to make an unimaginably wonderful weekly feature on my blog. My Words Like Silver friends, this is your Monday Mailbag!
Today the mailbag has taken a turn for the dangerous, let’s have a peek…
Are boo hags real or just a creation from the messed-up mind of David Morgan? And if they are real, what are the chances that I will have an encounter with one in my lifetime?
Brynn Los Alamos, NM
Brynn, I can’t tell you how happy I am that you contacted me. It’s great to get mail from a satisfied reader, and even better when I get to calm someone’s fears. It makes me feel doubly good. First as a writer, and then as a fellow human being. Well, one out of two ain’t bad. Yes, Brynn, boo hags are real, and, considering you live in the heart of boo hag country, there is a 100% chance that you will have a run-in, probably on multiple occasions, in your lifetime. Sorry, not all news can be good.
Fear not, my little Brynnmeister, I got you. While writing The Boo Hag, I worried that the publication of the book might cause a spike in hag activity, particularly in your neck the woods. The truth is it has. Do I feel responsible for this? No, I do not. Hey, someone was gonna write this story; don’t shoot the messenger! Anyway, like I said, I worried about this, so I put together a boo hag survival guide. Follow these simple guidelines, and you should sail smoothly through the sheets safely on to morning.
First, shun all forms of skincare. I mean that. Give up washing. Mud puddle by your house? Dive in head first. Feeling like it’s time for a little exfoliation? Fight that urge. Foliate. Foliate until you drop, exhausted from all that foliation. Boo hags are after your skin. They’ll be less interested in you if your face looks like a beat-up leather suitcase from the seventies.
Next, sleep with the light on. Did I say light? I meant lights. Hundreds of them. Put flashlights all over your room. Maybe set your alarm clock to check the batteries halfway through the night. I guess technically you could install one of those clap-your-lights-on devices, but chances are if you need to clap them on, it’s already too late.
Third, sleep with a salt shaker. When the boo hag comes, she will be stronger than you. This is a scientific fact. Salt is the one reliable weapon you have in your arsenal. If you’re majorly anit-sodium, and you have no salt in the house, make an exception. Ever heard of salt in an open wound? Well, the boo hag is basically one gigantic open wound. If she visits, give her a nice coating from your trusty shaker.
Brynn, if worse comes to worst, don’t give up hope. So, you tried all of the above, but you find the boo hag still hovering over you, ready to strike. All is not lost. You know, maybe we just don’t understand boo hags. I find that laughter is often the answer. Maybe in your non-shaker hand, carry a box of mints. Cover your nose and offer her one just before she moves in to steal your breath. My bet is she’ll lose herself in hysterics and flit off through your window.
If not, well, sorry.
And this, my Words Like Silver friends, is your Monday Mailbag!
If you’re itching to have your questions, boo hag related or not, answered on my blog, just shoot me an email over at email@example.com.
Thanks, Grace, for letting me come be a part of your blog. You really are doing something great over here!
Or David Morgan was born in California, but only lived there for a short time before being whisked away to spend his formative years in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He played a lot of soccer, but only when he wasn’t parading around the neighborhood with his brother. He excelled in school right up to the point when he realized that the world would, in fact, not end if he didn’t complete his homework, and then he did okay. Above all he was nice. Or so he would have you believe. But what he won’t tell you, is that he once sent a friend hurtling down a dirt path on a bike, instructing him that on this part of the trail you have to go as fast as you can, and then David watched in delight as said friend jumped the edge of a small cliff and ended up hanging inches above a dirty creek, only separated from the stinking water by a dense patch of foliage. He won’t tell you about that.
David lives with his wife and daughters in a house. He is severely outnumbered at home in the gender department, but he thinks that’s pretty cool. David writes from the warm tropical beaches of his mind, but looks forward to a day when he can write from the warm tropical beaches of Hawaii’s reality.
If you can’t get enough of David—and who can?—there’s more available here:
You can also contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org