Here is a SMALL PIECE of The Madness Underneath. It takes place in the Wexford library. More than that, I will not say.

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Now, let’s see what is going on …


“How long are you two going to sit there?” Alistair said. “I know you’re not going to answer me, but if you’re going to start kissing, can you leave?”

The only reason I opened my eyes was because Alistair sounded a little too close. This turned out to be a good call because he was, in fact, standing over us—I mean, right over us. Many people would be put off of a good make-out session by the sight of an angry ghost looming directly overhead, all spiky hair and combat boots. What terrified me, though, was the fact that Alistair was just about an inch or so away from my foot. I immediately yanked my legs away from him. In the process, I very nearly kneed Jerome in the groin, but he reflexively tucked and covered the way guys do.

“What is the matter with you?” Alistair said.

It looked like he was going to come even closer to see why I was convulsing.

“Stay back!” I said.


Honestly, I have no idea which one of them said it. Could have been either. Could have been both. Alistair backed off a bit, so I achieved my immediate goal of not killing one of my friends. By this point, Jerome had crab-walked back a bit and then scrambled to his feet. He was scanning the aisles and generally looking freaked out. I had just yelled “Stay back!” pretty loudly. Anyone nearby would come and check to make sure I wasn’t being assaulted in the dark of the stacks. It’s one thing to have a girlfriend who gets startled by the automatic lights and then cuddles close to you for a kiss. It’s another thing entirely when said girlfriend curls up like a shrimp in a hot pan when you try to kiss her, nearly nailing you in the nuts in the process. And then to have the aforementioned girlfriend scream “Stay back!” …

The moment, to put it as gently as possible, had passed.