The near future, somewhere in rural Colorado ...
If Zoey Ashe had known she was being stalked by a man who intended to kill her and then slowly eat her bones, she would have worried more about that and less about getting her cat off the roof.
Said cat was on said roof because it was terrified of the Santa Claus hologram in the front yard, a tacky Christmas decoration Zoey’s mother had brought home from Walmart two weeks ago. Everybody else in the trailer park had them, so she apparently had felt pressured to demonstrate her Christmas spirit with this dead-eyed apparition that unenthusiastically said “HO-HO-HO-MERRY CHRISTMAS" in a flat robotic voice to anyone who approached. Zoey thought it was a little unsettling herself, but every time the cat saw it blink to life, he would hiss and go streaking off to some high place where he thought the translucent bearded devil couldn’t reach him. So that’s why on the evening of December 16 Zoey was standing in the snow trying to coax the cat off of the roof while, just a block away, a man was waiting to abduct her and stream her slow mutilation to half a million viewers.
Read the first 11 chapters for free right here.
David Wong is the head editor of Cracked.com, and has a monthly column "David Wong's End Times Report"
The controversy surrounding the production of Starship Icarus launced the series into the national spotlight, but for readers who may be too young to remember the details, the series is a take on "the hundreds of nobodies in the background who keep the ship running so that the pretty people on the bridge can have their high-minded adventures." You can read more about it right here.
It’s a drug that promises an out-of-body experience with each hit. On the street they call it Soy Sauce, and users can drift across time and dimensions. But some who come back are no longer human.
Suddenly a silent, otherworldly invasion is underway, and mankind needs a hero. What it gets instead is John and David, a pair of college dropouts who can barely hold down jobs.
Can these two stop the oncoming horror in time to save humanity?
No. No, they can’t.
You may have a huge, invisible spider living in your skull. THIS IS NOT A METAPHOR.
You will dismiss this as ridiculous fear-mongering. Dismissing things as ridiculous fear-mongering is, in fact, the first symptom of parasitic spider infection -- the creature secretes a chemical into the brain to stimulate skepticism, in order to prevent you from seeking a cure. That's just as well, since the "cure" involves learning what a chainsaw tastes like.
You can't feel the spider, because it controls your nerve endings. You can't see it, because it decides what you see. You won't even feel it when it breeds. And it will breed. So what happens when your family, friends and neighbors get mind-controlling skull spiders? We're all about to find out.
Just stay calm, and remember that telling you about the spider situation is not the same as having caused it. I'm just the messenger. Even if I did sort of cause it.
Either way, I won't hold it against you if you're upset. I know that's just the spider talking.
There are plenty of ways to stay in touch with David Wong. You can check out his twitter feed for 140 character pho recipes, or follow his facebook for pictures of giant awards he has won. If you want to ask him a question about anything, visit his GoodReads page and ask away! Want to be the first to know the latest information about his upcoming book? Join the mailing list! Maybe he will figure out how to instagram and pintrest some day, but for now you still have plenty of options.