Publisher: Azure Spider Publications
Publication Date: June 15, 2018
A disabled cop and his ex battle giant centipedes and ghouls in a small riverside community that’s about to be flooded out.
The rain-drenched riverside town of Sherwood’s Landing, NJ is invaded by a species of centipede from Central America armed with psychedelic venom. Former cop Lafferty “Hoff” Hoffman and his ex-girlfriend Beatrice St. John are swept into terror as their neighbors are enslaved by a centipede-generated group mind. Those remaining free must band together to survive the onslaught of ravenous ghouls.
Around six-thirty Hoff headed out in his Wrangler to oversee a road crew clearing trees on 29 South. The situation was more fraught than he expected. There were four trees down within a tenth of a mile.
Hoff hailed one of the men cutting apart a tree with chainsaws. “Hey, Ty. How goes?”
“You can see.” Ty Hodanish, a local artist, taught Impressionist landscape painting out of a small studio at the Prallsville Mill in Stockton. Hoff didn’t know him well, but liked him. “Wind’s picked up a little.” Ty wiped a hand across his broad forehead. “It’s like one falls for every one we cut apart.”
“No road crews from down below? New Hope, Lambertville?”
Ty gave him a look of mild incredulity. “They’ve got their hands full, I think.”
“I guess so. Okay, keep at it, but be careful.”
“I’ll check back with you later. Or someone will. Colazzo has deputized Anita St. John, so she might be the one. Don’t work past dark, huh?”
Hoff turned to go. “Oh, hey, Ty? Did it look to you as if any of those trees were, you know, cut? Deliberately?”
Ty glanced around, frowning. “I didn’t want to say anything. It just seems too silly, you know?”
“So they did, then.”
“I’m sure it was just some sort of aberration.”
“Yeah. Yeah, I’m sure you’re right.” He drove away without seeing the ’pede slither out of Ty’s denim work shirt. With Hoff gone, Ty and the others dropped their charade of clearing the road and resumed work on the barricade.
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About A.L. Sirois
A.L. Sirois is a writer, developmental editor, graphic artist and a performing musician. His publication career began in 1973 with the appearance of the short-short story “War Baby” in Fantastic. (It would be called “flash fiction” nowadays.) He has gone on to have fiction in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Fantastic, Amazing Stories, and Thema, and online at Electric Spec, Mystery Weekly, Every Day Fiction and Flash Fiction Online, among other publications. His story “In the Conservatory,” from Thema, was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. In addition to JERSEY GHOULS, other Sirois works include a children’s book, DINOSAUR DRESS UP (Tambourine Press / William Morrow), a graphic novel, THE ENDLESS INCIDENT (2014), and a fantasy novel, THE BOHEMIAN MAGICIAN, published in 2017.
As an artist, he has hundreds of drawings, paintings and illustrations to his credit. Al has contributed comic art for DC, Marvel, and Charlton, and has scripted for Warren Publications. He wrote and drew “Bugs in the System” for witzend #12, the famous comics fanzine started by for MAD artist Wally Wood. He lives in Rockingham County, North Carolina with his wife and occasional collaborator, author Grace Marcus. Together they are writing a Young Adult novel set in ancient Egypt.
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