Hungry Business: A Short Story
by Maria DeBlassie
GENRE: Gothic, Horror (Cozy)
From the multi-award-winning author of Everyday Enchantments: Musings on Ordinary Magic & Daily Conjurings comes a cozy Gothic short story about searching for connection in a world that’s forgotten the power of everyday magic.
Looking for love can be deadly…
You know how it goes. You go out, hoping to meet someone. You wade through your fair share of brainless automatons, lifeless bodies, and ravenous undead good at passing as human.
The more you go out, the less hope you feel and the colder your body gets. But you keep at it. All you need is one beating heart to match your own before yours stops pumping altogether. How hard can it be to find one living, breathing human in a city full of bodies?
It’s hungry business.
At home, you take a bath as hot as you can stand and read an old bodice ripper until the warmth returns to your veins, and the flames of hope have been fanned enough that you can crawl into your flannel jammies and be grateful you are still alive. The light in your apartment slowly seeps into your chest, and you settle into your perch on the window.
You inspect the damage to your pinky finger as you wait for the cat to appear. The bath stopped the spread of the decay but the tip is gray and blue. There is puss where your fingernail should have been. You smother it in aloe vera, grated ginger, and bandages, hoping it will be enough to bring life back into your appendage. You don’t really know how to treat something like this. You sigh and lean back against the window frame. Your orange tabby cat has made its appearance—yours, yes, thought you know you shouldn’t feel so possessive about a creature you only know from a distance. It’s just nice to know it’s there.
Here’s the thing you love about the cat across the way: It’s proof that there are other beating hearts out there. Cats won’t settle where Hungries live. Perhaps their feline instincts tell them they’re easy prey for the things that are never satiated. That’s why you never see alley cats in the humanless neighborhoods. In fact, it was their strange mass exodus from certain parts of the city that first alerted officials to the virus now plaguing them. And this cat—bright orange like a flame with a soft, full belly—seems happy enough in its home. You wonder what kind of human it belongs to.
Interview with the Author:
How long have you been a published author?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but I wasn’t published until 2018. My first book, Everyday Enchantments, represents many years of writing, healing, and relearning myself. It’s my everyday magic manifesto. And then it won a bunch of awards! I remember when I learned it won its first award, the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award in the New Age Category for 2018. I reread the announcement about a thousand times, and then I sat down and cried for about twenty minutes before calling my family and celebrating.
2. Do you have any new releases coming soon?
Readers can expect to enjoy more cozy Gothic stories in the coming year, like Hungry Business, short story about searching for soul in a world that’s forgotten the power of everyday magic. Then my second book, Practically Pagan ~ An Alternative Guide to Everyday Magic, will be release September 24, 2021. The title says it all: it’s a practical guide to conjuring a more magical life!
3. If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
That’s a tough one! I’ve really enjoyed doing collaborative work with my fellow pagan and witchy writers at Moon Books. We put together the coolest free anthology, Weathering the Storm, to help those who were struggling during stay at home life find hope and healing. I’d love to do more work like that!
4. Do you listen to music while writing? If yes, what songs are your favorites?
I love Latin music and dance! One of the albums I play on repeat is Tromboranga’s Sangre, Sudor y Salsa. I got to see this band live a few years ago and they were incredible. This album reminds me to flow with the rhythm of life and celebrate the pure joy of dance.
5. What genres do you write in?
I write inspirational non-fiction, cozy Gothic stories, urban fantasy, and romance. I find they all nourish one another. My non-fiction books on everyday magic help me craft the enchanting worlds in my fiction and my genre stories guide me deeper into everyday conjuring in my life beyond the written word.
6. If you could write anywhere in the world, where would it be?
My writing desk. Seriously! I’m a total homebody. I look forward to the comfort of routine and get a little grumpy if I’ve been away from my reading and writing nook too long.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Maria DeBlassie, Ph.D. is a native New Mexican mestiza blogger, award-winning writer, and award-winning educator living in the Land of Enchantment. Her first book, Everyday Enchantments: Musings on Ordinary Magic & Daily Conjurings (Moon Books 2018), and her ongoing blog, Enchantment Learning & Living are about everyday magic, ordinary gothic, and the life of a kitchen witch. When she is not practicing her own brand of brujeria, she’s reading, teaching, and writing about bodice rippers and things that go bump in the night. She is forever looking for magic in her life and somehow always finding more than she thought was there. Find out more about Maria and conjuring everyday magic at http://www.mariadeblassie.com.
Social Media Links:
The book is $0.99 during the tour
Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Hungry-Business-Short-Maria-DeBlassie-ebook/dp/B08L48MVHD
Maria DeBlassie will be awarding a free ecopy of Hungry Business to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.