Beautiful and repulsive,April 18, 2014
Worms in the Needle is gorgeous and disgusting, Jonathan Moon can weave a phrase that is at once beautiful and repulsive. The glowing worms have taken over the world with their alluring, siren-like call to addiction, and the planet is cast into chaos. The protagonists are sociopaths, but they pulled me along it with its riveting, disgusting, sociopathic, somewhat humorous mess of an adventure.
Worms in the Needle Authored by Jonathan Moon
That’s the last time she gets the bigger worm…
Once their flesh flakes away the angels collapse into puddles of hissing goop and withered petals blow into them hurried along by unseen winds. My spit looses its sweet taste to the black flavor of ash. The glowing birds in the bright orange sky burst into small sparkly novas. The sky itself weeps and tears, streaking down like a ruined painting as the dismal gray of life wheezes back before my eyes. I don’t blink; praying silently for one last desperate sensation of the high.
Lila feels it too. She writhes on the mattress next to me; her moans of ecstasy warping into groans that capture the hollowness of our souls.
Tears form in her eyes and I can almost feel the lump in her throat. It’s gone and she wants to cry. I’d rather chase down more Worms than cry about it but everybody reacts to the Worms differently. I slip away to my own neon colored utopia where things with wings fan me and comfort me when the living neon worm dissolves under my skin. Lila told me once they wrap around her like a giant fuzzy neon hug. I imagine her high shedding off her like snake skin and flaking to the filthy floor next to the mattress. Her high sounds better than mine. More Fun.
That’s the last time she gets the bigger worm.
click the image to follow the neon worm road.
FROM CHAPTER ONE:
THE WALLS ARE covered with graffiti; curse words and dozens of crude drawing of Worms. The floors are littered with garbage and human waste. The once elegant red and gold carpet has streaks of ominous crimson and patches of scorch marks on nearly every floor. A wet bloody hand print smears the faded white walls as if someone bled their way down the stairs only moments before us. We reach the ground floor and step over the corpse sprawled across the bottom two stairs.
“Good bye, Bob.” I tell the swollen body with the word ‘Bob’ carved across his ample belly.
“Look,” Lila points at Bob’s feet, “someone has finally stolen his shoes.”
Sure enough, swollen green toes with black toenails point back up the stairway.
“Dead toes for up, bloody hand prints for down,” I answer.
Lila hugs me close and tells me, “You’re a poet, baby.”
We walk fully embracing each other like a drunken four legged crab through the lobby. Two more corpses float in the stagnant water of the fountain, bobbing and rolling from the motion of the pump. A bubbling froth of filthy bubbles mask the corpse with the bell hop uniform upturned face. The three metal cherubs spitting foul piss colored water are all draped in pastel colored feather boas. If I was high on worm the boas would be glowing and the fat little cherubs would be whispering me seductive lullabies.
As we near the ruins of the reception area we hear soft sobbing sounds. We untangle from each other because sadness strikes us deeper, affects us in far darker ways, when we are crashing. I reach down and silently remove my flip-flops but the woman ducked behind the burnt out front desk hears our foot falls anyways. Sad feet are heavy feet and we couldn’t help but clomp on the blood streaked marble tile floor. The woman jumps up from her hiding spot, trips over the charred counter, and stumbles towards us. We do a very inconsiderate ballet in order to avoid catching her. She tumbles past us and face plants onto the blood slick floor. We do our best to act as if we still don’t see or hear her as her sobs turn to confused shrieks of rage.
“What is your problem? What is going on here? What happened to the city?”
Her questions are so outdated and ridiculous our worm craving wanes momentarily so we can laugh at her. She doesn’t respond well. Her rage loses out to her confusion and her screaming turns to wailing. We laugh even harder which only serves to make her cry even louder. We near the doors and she remains frozen in place by the reception desk wailing away too scared to try conversing with us further. A shirtless man, rail thin from worm addiction, dives out of the shadows next to the elevators screaming, “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” He is holding both hands over his ears to block the horrid noise of sorrow and since each hand is clutching a large kitchen knife he looks like he has long sharp metal bunny ears.
The woman turns her wailing at him and he responds by burying one knife in her gut and the other into her wide open mouth. Her wail gags into wet gurgling sounds. He twists the knife in her gut and wiggles the one in her mouth while still spiting, “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” Once her twitching corpse obeys his demented command he removes both blades in gory unison. Her body slumps to the floor in the growing puddle of her blood. The man regards us briefly but dismisses us as crashing and harmless. He reaches down, grabs the corpse by the foot, and drags it back to the shadows by the elevators leaving a splotchy crimson trail which criss-crosses older, eerily similar dragging stains.
It is almost impossible to tell that this was one of the nicest hotels in the city only a few short weeks ago.
THE SKY ISN’T ALWAYS BLUE ANY MORE.
When the rolling black clouds allow peeks within them, we can catch fleeting glimpses of the bright red sky smeared across the fading blue, huge sky-born bruises. Seeing the angry stratosphere still sends a shock to that small piece of mind that remembers the peaceful blue before the Worms. That part of my brain forgets more and more, and cares less and less. Lila stares at the sky, eyes wide taking in the terror-scape above us. Apparently, her brain still cares.
“Why is the sky red again?” She asks suddenly shielding her eyes as if the black clouds inflict the same blinding glare as the sun.
I clear my dry throat, wincing as my breath slices the tender flesh, and tell her, “The sky is red because everything is linked. The people bleed, the rivers bleed, and so the sky bleeds.”
The end of the world snuck up on everyone. It didn’t erupt with a bang and leave the buildings and trees in ashes. It wasn’t a virus that raised the dead. It was the Worms; glowing Worms they found deep in an Australian desert. A team of archeologists stumbled into an ancient tomb and brought crates full of the twisting, shimmering things to the surface. The world marveled over the bizarre new species and their fantastic phosphorous glow. First they were news (from weird news of the week to head-lines the world over), then pop culture (from clever tee shirts to nauseatingly adorable internet memes to energy drinks), next the newest designer drug (with a high that rendered all others ridiculously tame and unsatisfying), and finally the curse that decimated mankind (sweet glowing demise).
Men of science were the first to inject them. A sanitized laboratory was the first place humans experienced the euphoric effects of the living worm dissolving under their skin. I can’t imagine the colors they saw in the stainless steel and bleach white around them. How men of logic decided to squish living creatures into needles and then themselves is a mystery that not even Robert Stack could help solve but I’d be willing to bet it was those damned colors. A group of such scientists formed the first of many Worm-worshipping cults and praised the benefits of main-lining the bright Worms. They cast aside their conventional learnings in favor of the glowing warm high and proclaimed themselves The Church of the Dying Star.
Others followed quickly but The Church of the Dying Star was the first and is now one last organizations of any kind still functioning. They were the first to discover and preach gospel of the Worms. They were the first to realize the Worms grew in graveyard dirt best, the older the graveyard the better the creatures seemed to flourish.
Its members are credited with spreading the Worms to the Americas and Europe. Then, Asia and Africa after that. People were addicted before the first time they juiced up. Being anywhere in a ten foot radius of a living worm stirred something within us simple weak humans; a primal need that dwarfed our natural instincts. Very, very few can resist the call of the worm. And they were left to deal with everything when it went to shit.
A twelve percent unemployment rate is nothing compared to ninety-three percent of the world just not doing their jobs. No people to open and run the stores and gas stations. No security to protect the businesses from dangerous unstable looters. No media to report and distribute word of other countries falling to themselves. No congress men and women to turn the wheels of government. No police to stop the nightly gang rapes and uncountable murders. No pilots to fly the planes to evacuate survivors. Chaos swept the world as its people lost themselves to the twisted paradise the Worms give.
“You’re a poet, baby,” Lila coos at me, stirring me from my memories.
“I’m not a poet,” I tell her slackly, “I’m a fucking junkie just looking to get high.”
Her eyes sparkle empty and deep but she doesn’t give the hurt a voice. I can respect her for that. I tilt my head and half shrug my shoulders; an awkward attempt at less an apology than letting her know not to take it personal. She turns away without returning my nod. She takes a few angry steps when something falls from above and lands brutally on the side walk in front of us…
‘click’ the image to follow the neon worm road.
An Addictive Read,February 18, 2014
Worms in the Needle is brilliant. Drug driven, psychedelic, post-apocalyptic horror and high adventure, executed with compelling characters and lush, vivid poetic prose. Think: Stephen King, Edward Lee, and William Burroughs hanging out smoking a hooka and bouncing story ideas–yeah, that good! Jonathan Moon writes with a lot of heart and brutal honesty. There’s emotions conflicting in all the violence, characters are not simply props for killing like with a lot of horror in the extreme variety, every shot, stab etc. is felt and I love it when a writer takes a concept that could easily come off comic booky, and plants it right into reality and does it believably and seamlessly weaving cyborgs and animal-masked cultists into a genuinely engrossing and convincing story. Jonathan Moon is probably the most exciting and compelling voices in independent horror. Also, Worms in the Needle was the first book from publisher, Morbidbooks I’ve read and will be devouring their catalog in the coming days!
All Hail The Worm,March 5, 2014
Worms In The Needle isn’t your typical horror novel. This is a dark, gritty novel that forces you to look at the dark side of human nature and the power of addiction. Moon has presented us with a well plotted and thought out story that does contain a bit of gore.
It seems as if every writer has to write a book that brings about the end of the world but it’s always the same rehashed ideas. Zombies, plagues, but Moon creates something completely different and original. The world ends through addiction, man itself has created its downfall through an addiction to worms.
What makes Worms In The Needle so good is that it contains elements from a variety of genres while being totally original. Moon has created an interesting novel that is violent, surreal and above all else, well written. You are thrust into the story and carried off in a haze of neon and gunfire.
This is one of those novels you have to read. You can read all the reviews and they all say the same thing. Stop reading the reviews and buy the book already.
action packed, dark, gritty and sexual,February 27, 2014
The action never stops is this dark corpse ridden hellride. i got sucked into this hazy dystopian world full of neon visuals, blood, and decay. Moon writes with a genuine love of the dark and it shows in the viscera of his prose. you can tell he gets it on a level not everybody does, and that makes for a wicked fun read for any lover of the macabre. the darkness is laced with dashes of humor and a brash sexuality that really rounds this twisted tale out nicely. Moon excels at painting a very vivid picture with interesting fun characters. looking forward to reading more from this author!
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