Scary times in Missing Mile, N.C.

“Missing Mile was not a large town, but it was big enough to have a run-down section. Kinsey walked through this section every day, appreciating the silence of it, the slight eeriness of the boarded-up storefronts and soap-blinded windows. Some of the empty stores still bore going-out-of-business signs. The best one, which never failed to amuse Kinsey, trumpeted BEAT XMAS RUSH! in red letters a foot high. The stores not boarded up or soaped were full of dust and cobwebs, with the occasional wire clothes rack or smooth mannequin torso standing a lonely vigil over nothing….”

— From “Drawing Blood: A Novel” by Poppy Z. Brite (1994), chosen by Tina Jordan of the New York Times for “a list of the scariest novel set in every state.”