Title: LOCKER 103
Genre: MG Paranormal
Word Count: 40,000
Ever since her mother took off for Nebraska with her loser boyfriend, Winter Malone’s been spending her nights in the band room of G.W. Barrett Middle School. It’s not such a bad deal – a warm place to sleep, locker room showers, and all the concession stand licorice she can eat. But Winter’s not the only one hiding in the hallways. The school is inhabited by the Soul of Mr. Hawkins, a teacher who died in his eighth grade science room.
Mr. Hawkins has spent the past 49 years as the Soul of G.W. Barrett Middle, and he’s sick of the prickly-haired, punk kids with their sagging pants and revolting attitudes. But in order to pass on to the Other Side, he must find someone to take his place, and Winter’s new living arrangements make her the perfect target.
Winter knows his plan – at least part of it, anyway – but she believes that even a mean, miserable fart like Mr. Hawkins must have a heart hidden somewhere in the bricks and mortar. She wagers with him, giving herself one month to remind Mr. Hawkins of the man he used to be – one that didn’t dump little girls into holes under libraries. If Winter wins, Mr. Hawkins will provide her with information about her mother that she desperately needs. But if she fails to fix him – or destroy him – in time, her own Soul is on the line.
Mr. Hawkins could feel her niggling around in his ribs, and it made him uncomfortable, like a fly buzzing just out of his reach. He had barely slept in the 21 nights since Winter Malone had been sleeping in the band room. If it had been any other child – that useless skater boy with green spikes sprouting like weeds from his head, for instance – he would have scared her off long ago.
But not this one. He needed her. So he waited.
Somehow he had to break free from the curse, and she was the one to help him do it. There had been a time when he’d thought the offer was too good to be true. But he’d been stuck here now for 49 years – enough time to see the gymnasium covered in graffiti and ugly metal fences walling the grounds. The students blasted incomprehensible music and wore drippy, sagging pants that drug the floor and drug his spirits down with them.
Mr. Hawkins had been a good man, when he was a man. But things had changed, because now he had a secret. It was a terrible, awful secret – the kind that made the skin on your forearms pucker and pull, your blood slow to slush in your veins.
He also had a ferret. Ebenezer prowled the halls each night looking for two things: children, which he promptly reported to Mr. Hawkins, and leftover bits of tuna from the children’s lunches, which he promptly inhaled.