Please welcome Rick MCQuiston, author of Eat the World to Barbara Edwards Comments. Tell our readers why you wrote this story.
I wrote “Eat the World” because of my love for Mackinac City and Mackinac Isle. I felt the history, architecture, and overall isolation that an island offers was perfect for a horror story.
The first time I visited the area I became interested with the layout. I still remember taking copious notes (much to the annoyance of my wife) for the book. The city skirts along the lower mainland, wrapping around the natural slope of the peninsula and offering the perfect spot to start the story. It seemed natural to me to move the protagonists over to the island then, using the isolation there (after all, Mackinac Island is surrounded by deep water) to create an ominous feeling.
From there, it wasn’t difficult (relatively speaking) to incorporate elements from each of the characters into the overall theme of working together to survive supernatural horror.
About the Author:
Rick McQuiston is a 49-year-old father of two who loves anything horror-related. He’s had nearly 400 publications so far, and written five novels, ten anthologies, one book of novellas, and edited an anthology of Michigan authors.
Rick is also a guest author each year at Memphis Junior High School.
He’s currently working on his sixth novel.
More about Rick at:
Publisher’s website: www.classactbooks.com
Author’s website: www.many-midnights.com
Blurb for Eat the World:
In picturesque Mackinac a growing army of rats are beginning to seep into the community of tourists. They seemingly appear out of nowhere, and it is up to ordinary people to gather their courage and battle the hordes.
But there is something more frightening beneath the surface, something that was born from the accumulated depths of Earth’s creatures, something that can threaten the entire world.
Excerpt from Eat the World:
The rodent scurried through the narrow channel. It barely managed to squeeze its lengthy bulk into the tight aperture, but by inhaling a deep breath of warm, salty air, it was able to reduce its girth enough to allow it somewhat comfortable passage. A cursory glance to either side after it cleared the opening revealed nothing predatory or dangerous.
The rodent then scrambled into the brush.
In its wake was a vicious, gray-green substance that loosely resembled hydraulic motor oil left in the sun too long. It was thick in consistency, yet still transparent enough to allow the dozens of tiny organisms swirling within it to be seen. It bristled with unnatural life.
The small grass snake slithered through the brush. Its brown, speckled hide gave it perfect camouflage in the wild. It melted into its surroundings, becoming for all intents and purposes, invisible to both predator and prey. It was its natural defense mechanism as well as aiding it with tracking down prey.
The snake’s belly convulsed with hunger. It hadn’t eaten in days and was in danger of starving. It scanned the woods for any sign of movement, anything at all that it could inflict a bite on and swallow whole.
There was no movement whatsoever. Not even a stray beetle or ant scuttled by. The snake was completely alone in the vast wilderness of the island. It laid perfectly still, both to conserve energy and to avoid detection. It sensed that something was watching it from a darkened crevice nearby. Something bigger than it was and undoubtedly just as hungry.
The snake didn’t move a muscle. It hoped that whatever was hidden in the crevice wouldn’t notice it. The strange substance on the ground bristled beneath its body, but it had more pressing matters to be concerned about. Flicking its tongue, the snake tasted the air. Far below, the cold waters of Lake Huron washed up against I-67. Being the only state highway in the US without motorized vehicles, the pristine ribbon of asphalt circled the entire island.
The movement caught the snake’s attention. It swung its conical head in the direction of the sound: the dark crevice. Whatever was watching it had moved. Several quick tongue darts picked up a scent, causing the snake to recoil back into itself. It could defend itself if need be, but if its adversary was larger it would quickly opt for retreat. Self-preservation was perhaps the only instinct that overrode all others, including hunger and the need to mate. When faced with a threat, survival was paramount.
The snake hissed in a feeble effort to ward off its potential adversary. It reared up then to display its size. It did not know if it was larger, or smaller than the other creature, but it was one of the few weapons it possessed.
The rodent poked its pink snout out of the crevice. It sniffed a few times, and satisfied that suitable prey was within striking distance, settled back on its haunches as it prepared to attack.
With a blinding ferocity beyond any member of its species, the huge, bloated rat launched itself out of the crevice and sucked down the too-slow grass snake in one violent swallow.
The reptile never had a chance.
With its hunger temporarily sated, the rat lumbered away into the brush. It left copious amounts of the strange substance behind, leaving a sickly trail leading into the woods.
The substance squirmed with miniscule life.
Publisher’s website: www.classactbooks.com