Date of Award

Spring 6-8-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Stephen Graham. Jones

Second Advisor

Elisabeth Sheffield

Third Advisor

Kelly Hurley


During their regular Winter Holiday party one snowy night, the employees of Prixton

Hedges discover they have become prey. After half the crew dies of poisoned punch, the lights

go out and something begins hunting them in the dark. Interspersed with this developing

catastrophe, the reader gets to know one particular employee, Malika Markus. She has, for

months, become increasingly obsessed with a former worker at the firm, Chris Derringer.

Derringer seems to have vanished into thin air, but the traces Malika stumbles across make her

think something terrible may have happened to him. Meanwhile, the reader discovers that

Prixton-Hedges has shady business of its own. Bob Strand, manager of this branch, as well as his

right-hand woman, Wendy Trumble, are hiding not only what they know of Chris Derringer, but

also what they suspect the company has been up to. Malika traces Derringer’s own investigation

into a burnt-out call center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but there seems to hit a dead end.

When she returns to her home city, she attends the aforementioned Winter Holiday party. After

watching almost all of her fellow employees die either of poison or at the workings of a horrific,

metamorphic creature, Malika hides inside a closet. Surviving the night, she is rescued by the

police, who are trying to put together a picture of what happened the night before. Luckily for

them, they have found a corpse sitting in the midst of the carnage who bears all the marks of

having been the perpetrator. Malika, though, has her own reasons for not believing this story.

Throughout the piece, the reader also becomes acquainted with the rest of Malika’s friends and

co-workers, including her childhood buddy, Darian, and her wacky work-mate, Ted Glover.

Lurking behind these placid scenes is a malevolent entity, one intent on making everyone pay for

something hideous done to it…

Available for download on Thursday, December 09, 2021