Welcome to the debut novel from Erik E. Esckilsen, the story of an accidental anarchist revolution at a hard-luck shopping mall. The Last Mall Rat is a Walter Lorraine book, published by Houghton Mifflin.
I dart for the bushes separating the mall parking lot from the bank next door. Someone beeps a horn, but I don’t stop.
Branches rake my arms as I flee, scrambling through the bushes, unable to slow down. Go, is all I can think, my heart pounding in my chest like a sledgehammer against the side of a submarine.
As if I’ve become the hunted.
Be careful what you ask for… Mitch Grant wanted a job, and maybe a little respect, but at fifteen, he found both beyond his reach. Too young to be legally employed, he knew that the only cash likely to come his way would have to pass under the table — through some discreet, off-the-books business arrangement.
When Mitch seeks financial advice from the Chair — a legendary shoe salesman at the local mall — he finds the pro finally cracking under the strain of all that service with a smile. So Mitch offers the Chair a deal, a way to combat the rudeness he suffers at his customers’ feet. When the Chair accepts, he and Mitch both get more than they bargained for: Mitch’s unique “customer service” catches on with the other mall workers, and demand for his services skyrockets. He recruits some friends to “staff” this bold — and brash — new venture. Words like gang, Mall Mafia, and even terrorist start to fly as the the mall is plunged into anarchy. Mitch soon realizes that his small business has spiraled out of control — big time!