Comics have a long history of killing off it’s darlings: Superman, Ferro Lad, Gwen Stacy, Invisible Kid, Professor X and Captain Marvel.  Marvel, in particular, has made a habit of this in recent years, killing off the likes of Captain America (sort of), Professor X (AGAIN), Human Torch, Wolverine, War Machine, Bill Foster and Bruce Banner, among others.  Then there was the death of Rodeo Bar.  (Ask around – that was a comics death.)

And now things aren’t looking good for Heidi MacDonald in the opening paragraphs of The Gentrified Bodega:

Heidi MacDonald pressed the buzzer for the third time and waited.  Finally, the door buzzed open and she climbed three flights of stairs to her dream apartment.  800 square feet.  Hardwood floors. An enormous antique bathtub on claw feet above checkered tiles.  A double bowl sink and ample counter space in the kitchen.  Two walk-in closets.  All for far below market rent.

Heidi MacDonald was pissed when she knocked on the door of her dream apartment.  A knock that wasn’t answered, so she knocked again and waited.

The tiny sounds of shuffling feet could be heard inside the apartment, but the shuffling wasn’t headed towards the door.

“Where are my keys,” bellowed MacDonald as she started pounding on the door with a clenched fist. “You can’t have an open house after you’ve cashed my deposit check.”

The tiny sounds of shuffling continued.

Apartment hunting is always a pain, but things don’t usually work out very well for whoever’s in the opening of a horror story.

The Gentrified Bodega is the fourth installment in The Mister Lewis Incidents, a monthly short form contemporary fantasy / horror detective series by The Beat’s contributing editor, Todd Allen.

“I’ve never been so sure Marvel’s marketing department would approve of a promotion,” says Allen. “Death is the going business.”   <rimshot>

“There are 2 things I want to accomplish in life: play a corpse in an episode of Law & Order and to be killed in a Todd Allen story. And now Heidi MacDonald is one up on me. Dammit all to Hell!” – Elliott Serrano, Chicago’s King of the Geeks and Chief Geek Officer for the “Pretty Late with Patti Vasquez” Show on WGN 720 AM Radio Chicago.

The neighborhood was improving and people were dying to move in. Then their bodies were turning up in the back aisle of the bodega. The building wove a web of shady evictions, fake leases and unexplainable deaths. Can Mister Lewis discover the secret of the gentrified bodega or will the housing crisis be solved by mass attrition?

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  1. The bodies of gentrifiers are turning up in the back of the bodega? iWEPA! I mean, I don’t know nothing about that. You want some of these sliced up cold cuts I got at the bodega even though I’m a vegetarian? ;)

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