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Koby's New Home

"Koby's New Home" takes a sometimes humorous, often unsettling and scary look at economic dislocation. Having lost his job and now struggling to find a new one, William Grabinski has no choice but to rent a small, dirt cheap unit in an old, decrepit building. Feeling lonely and isolated there, he can't resist adopting a kitten that cries at him from the building's courtyard on a cold December day. The kitten, which Grabinski names Koby, is shivering and starving. He stares up at the man who stops and speaks to him, wondering if he's a threat or not. The kitten allows Grabinski to pick him up .... The purring machine quickly goes off. Now tiny Koby has a home. It starts out very much like a heartwarming and sentimental story of a depressed man who finds comfort and happiness in caring for this sweet, adorable kitten. But it isn't long before the book heads off in a much darker direction. The first problem is that Grabinski is suddenly completely paranoid -- because his building has a strict no pets policy. And yet, that turns out to be the least of his problems. Through a series of strange and sometimes ominous incidents, Grabinski becomes even more anxious about his life in that complex. He starts to believe the entire building is corrupt, even destructive. Grabinski confronts haunting images: the elderly man in the dark, barren room, the children's dolls being burned in a demented nighttime ceremony, the mysteriously reappearing box of poison tablets, and, most eerily, the menacing figure that Grabinski comes to call Cigarette Man, who stalks him everywhere he goes. If Grabinski steps out in the hall, it seems like Cigarette Man is standing there, watching him. "Koby's New Home" examines people coping in an often intensely hostile environment. The apartment building is filled with people struggling to survive in a grim economy, and nobody is happy to be living in such a decaying complex -- Grabinski included. The pitiful, humiliating feelings these tenants experience from sharing space in this dismal location eventually turns deadly -- and horrifically violent. At that point, it's no longer about economic survival for Grabinski.
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About the Author

Michael Freeman, a resident of Orlando, has been a journalist since 1988. Throughout his career, he's worked at some of the Sunshine State's largest newspapers, including The Orlando Sentinel, The Lakeland Ledger, The Sun-Sentinel and The Jewish Journal. Michael is also a playwright, active in Central Florida's fast-growing theater community. He wrote and produced the original plays "Hooked," "Copping a Craigie" and "Murder Sleep," which premiered at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival. A passionate lover of theater and the arts, Michael is a guild member at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater and a member of the Playwrights Round Table in Orlando. Michael is also the founder of Freeline Productions, a writing and editing service that distributes his fiction novels "Bloody Rabbit," published in 2013, and "Koby's New Home." Michael was born and raised Fall River, Massachusetts, and has lived in Orlando since 2002. Michael now works for the Orlando Magic basketball team. He enjoys reading, traveling, theater, the music of The Monkees, catching re-runs of the 1970s series "Kolchak The Night Stalker," and the great art of comic books. Michael is also the proud papa of his cats Fluffy, Midnight, and Peaches.

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