Barking in a Barf Bag

Would you read a book if people told you there were parts so shocking that it would make you sick? For that matter, would you watch a video if you were told it was so gruesome you would never be able to get the images out of your head? Would you spend the night in a house that everyone swore is haunted? If the answer is yes, you’re exactly the type of person that should read my horror novel OOBERS. If you said no, you need to get a backbone, and the best way to do that is to read my novel OOBERS.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s an excerpt:

“Eventually Danny felt sufficiently clean and padded back to the bedroom, dripping with water. The old woman’s face was a horrid, gory mess with half of her scalp pulled down over her eyes and nose and her toothless mouth hanging open. He walked up to the old woman lying on the bed, took the loose skin of her scalp and with one mighty tug ripped her face completely off. Instead of separating at her jaw, the skin tore between her top and bottom lip, leaving her chin intact. He grunted his displeasure but left it on her face. He then carried the old woman’s misshapen facial skin back to the kitchen and deposited it in the freezer compartment of her refrigerator. Finally, Danny went back to her body one last time and, with the help of the hunting knife, liberated the old woman’s right nipple from her breast. He laid it on her nightstand and went in search of her bathroom. Fifteen minutes later Danny emerged steamy and clean and put on his soiled clothes. He tucked the old woman’s nipple in his pants pocket and left the house, being careful the door was locked on his way out. He smiled and held his face up to the warmth of the morning sun, his eyes closed and his mouth open in a look of serene ecstasy.”

Now, if you haven’t stuck your head in a wastebasket, you really need either counseling or to buy OOBERS for your personal collection of perverted literature, but I’m here to tell you that OOBERS is unlike any book you’ll ever read. OOBERS is horror to the tenth power, and not just because it’s got some sick scenes in it. OOBERS deals with the very real idea that there are decidedly evil and aggressive entities floating around you all the time, invisible to your human senses, whispering malicious and horrifying suggestions into your subconscious and knowing just what buttons to push that will make you think, say and do things you normally wouldn’t do. History is chock full of people who listened to the voices in their head and then went out to commit terrific crimes against humanity. Just yesterday I heard the story of a man in California who is on trial for slow-cooking his wife for four days by putting her body in a 55 gallon drum of boiling water and keeping it submerged with weights. Here’s the link if you don’t believe me: http://www.blackamericaweb.com/news/national-news/man-slow-cooks-wife-four-days . Now, I want to know why, if things like this happen all the time and are reported (some of the time) in the news, why haven’t horror writers taken that step creatively, for any one of a dozen reasons, not the least being for good old shock value?

I know why. Because modern horror writers like to play it safe. If you watch sports at all, you’ll see successful athletes taking it easy, especially if they’re in the catbird seat. The golfer who is eight strokes ahead of his competitors will not risk shaving off a stroke by driving it through a narrow spot in the woods on a dogleg. The star quarterback whose team is up by three touchdowns halfway through the fourth quarter will opt to run the ball instead of airing it out. The batter who has three balls and no strikes who stands there and watches the pitcher drill one into the strike zone. The novelist who has fought and clawed his way to the top of the genre by delivering predictable ghost stories knowing it will sell millions because of his name. Not me. I’m hungry. I’m all about taking a fat man’s body and throwing it in the lake to make as big a splash as I can. Lenny Bruce was hungry. Oprah was hungry. Abraham Lincoln was hungry. Billy Bob Thorton was hungry. Rob Zombie was hungry. Lady Gaga is starving. These are just a smidgeon of the pioneers in their fields who didn’t play it safe, who pushed the envelope off the table, who stepped out of bounds and carved a new trail.

Good, dear, demented reader, I want to take you with me as I slash my way through the jungle of decency and leave you wretching your guts out, quivering with terror and profoundly changed. I promise you it will get easier, not because I’ll take my foot off the pedal – for that matter I’m going to mash my foot clean through the floorboard and kick the engine’s ass – but because your mind will have become so callused with horror that you’ll be able to walk up to a decapitated body and mutter “And?” Think of it this way. After reading the OOBERS series, you’ll be qualified as a combat medic or an Emergency Room doctor or a Mortician or even a book critic. You’ll probably need a barf bag to start with, but by the time we’ve pushed every envelope off the cliff you’ll be rock solid.

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