Pay Phone, originally released by Arctic Wolf Publishing in the spring of 2010, is back in a newly revised edition, which contains a brand new introduction chronicling the evolution of the novel!
Revisit the terrifying story of Jake Taft, a ruthless serial killer who uses a pay phone across the street from his third-story apartment to lure unsuspecting victims into his web, and of Chelsea Summerfield, a struggling actress trying to make it in the big city. By pure happenstance, their paths meet and thus begins a brutal and sadistic thrill ride that will surely leave trembling more and more with every page!
Pay Phone is currently available in both paperback and Kindle editions, but for those of you who just can’t wait, scroll down for an exclusive sneak peak at the novel’s introduction and find out what real-life experiences inspired the story!
Fall, 1995. I was fourteen, a freshman in high school. I remember the burning sun and an unseasonable warmth as I stepped out of the subway station to begin a short walk across the park. As I passed a crowded bus stop, I heard a loud, distinctive sound cutting through the air.
A ringing phone.
A pay phone stood mere feet from the horde of teenagers awaiting their mode of transportation. I watched them, watched the phone, certain someone would grasp the receiver before I had the chance. To my surprise, the crowd of more than a dozen youths stood oblivious, or more than likely apathetic. Curiosities piqued, I quickened my pace, so sure the ringing would stop before I’d made it. By then, more than ten rings echoed in the warm, late afternoon air. My overstocked backpack weighing me down, I reached with a tentative hand and grasped the receiver. Lifted it. Placed it to my ear.
“Uh…hello?” I called in a quavering, puberty-laced Peter Brady voice.
Though the woman on the other end of the line spoke in a low, sultry voice, did all she could to come across sensual and seductive, I could tell she was long past her prime. She sounded in her mid-to-late fifties, some trace of a nicotine addiction behind her unusual timbre. I don’t recall how she opened the conversation or which name she asked for, but I know that name belonged to a man. I had my doubts this man existed, even after she displayed a strong sense of surprise when I told her the number she’d dialed was not to a personal residence, but a pay phone just off Broad and Oregon.
I figured our conversation would end there, but it seemed she had other things on her mind and keeping me on the line was obviously part of that agenda. She asked where I’d come from. How my day had gone. If I was alone, or had any friends with me. And finally, how old I was. I gave brief, but polite responses, feeling more than ill at ease. The more she spoke, the more seductive her tone, and that sense of discomfort grew.
I told her I had to go, that I was expected home, but she wouldn’t relent. “I was hoping for a little company today,” she said, breathy and eager. “What would you say if I asked you to come over to my house?”
“Uh…” I stammered, choking on my own words. “I…”
“We could have some fun together,” she went on. “If you’re interested.”
The more she tried to persuade me, the more I wanted to flee. But something held me in place. Something kept me talking. I looked at the small crowd waiting for the bus. Wondered if they knew what was happening. I felt more and more embarrassed just standing there holding the receiver.
“I don’t think… I mean, I…”
And then she said it. The four words that caused me to involuntarily pull my lips back in a tight grimace. The four words that left my eyebrows knitted and nose scrunched.
“Do you like titties?”