Fiction Fest: Last chance to preview Michael Bast’s ‘Death’s Academy’

Death's-Academy-2x3This is it. The last free peek inside Michael Bast’s debut novel, “Death’s Academy.” Don’t let that discourage you, though; you can buy a copy of the book in bookstores and from online retailers for the rest of the story.

Stay tuned to Fiction Fest as we bring you another exciting round of free excerpts from our February releases — Kevin Hopkins’ “Skylight” and Sarah Beard’s “Porcelain Keys” — starting Feb. 3.


We have baseball as our national past time, Deaths have skull ball. It is a twisted mix of kickball and football. The best… or worst part of it all, it’s played with a unique type of ball.

What’s with the iron boot you ask? Would you kick a fossilized human skull when the only thing between your toes and intense pain is a few millimeters of tennis shoe? Of course not. The boot protects the striker, and it also makes the skull fly a lot farther, which makes the game more exciting.

There you go again making that disgusted face. It’s not like the person needs his skull anymore. He’s moved on; he’s playing harps, floating on clouds, and all of that other angel stuff. For big games like today, they usually pull out some special skulls. At last year’s junior championship—which we lost twenty-one to five, if you must know—we used this Italian dude’s skull. His name was Mike Angel or Marvin Angelo . . . No, that’s not right . . . Michelangelo, that’s it.

Supposedly he was some famous shorty that sculpted another dude name David and painted some nice pictures on a ceiling somewhere. I’m not too sure, though, because I don’t keep up with whole shorty history thing too much. But I do have to say he had a very lopsided skull. That thing wouldn’t roll straight to save my life, and I had to do some major in-game adjustments to get it to roll the way I wanted.