In Xchyler Publishing's Beyond the Wail, there are two stories by authors with the last name "Barnson." This post focuses on the second story, the second Barnson, Jay Barnson's Cold Spot.
For those of you who don't know, Jay is a computer guy, which helps explain his story's premise. It begins in an office/warehouse setting where Mike Bradshaw's computer is missing. But, it's not missing in the traditional sense. He believe's he's misplaced it. Nope. He's checked everywhere. The only other option is, it's been stolen.
Well, sort of...
Mike solicits help from his best friend, Nate, computer genius. The two find out the computer's not missing, but is still at work. Thus begins the mystery. Jay's story reminded me of something Stephen King would conjure up. If you've read Insomnia you might understand why it came to mind while reading this. I also saw a bit of Michael Crichton in the story with the use of technology throughout the story.
Mike and Nate become prisoners of a sort. They're trapped and have a short period of time to escape. Due to their technical knowledge, they utilize cellphones and wi-fi signals in an attempt to save themselves from certain death. Jay's story could have been longer, and I don't mean this as a criticism. He's introduced many fascinating elements to his mystical world, a world full of traps, creatures and alternative universes. I wish the story could have been longer to explore some of these elements, but I understand why it wasn't. Like Stephen King, Jay could easily expand the take advantage of the characters, their situations and the world in general.
I've explained in previous blog posts that I feel a certain level of responsibility for seeing Jay's stories in print. We met several years ago and I introduced him to Xchyler Publishing and how Xchyler finds new authors. Of course, he could have spoken to someone else had I not been to that particular convention. I'd like to think that if I weren't there, he would have sought out someone and submitted his story to another anthology, the anthology that published his first story. But, it was he and I that spoke and now I'm fortunate enough (as are all of you...) to be able to read about Mike and Nate and the cool--and frightening--situation in which they find themselves.
It's a great little story! You can get it through Amazon, or on Kindle and read it instantly before Halloween. I recommend it.