After losing their parents to a car accident, Kevin and Bobby Dalton move to their grandparents’ small Texas farm. Their grandfather is a strict, religious man determined to mold them into farmers. While running a combine harvester in the cornfield, Kevin is attacked by a small swarm of locusts. He tries to warn his grandfather about the destructive pests, but locusts in the cornfield aren’t what the Dalton family should be worried about. Something far more menacing is about to infiltrate their home.
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Excerpt from Locust
Nightmares about a swarm of locusts eating the flesh off his body jolted Bobby awake. He could still feel the spiny legs prickling the skin on his arms when he opened his eyes and checked the time on his clock-radio. It displayed 3:20 in a bright glow of red numerals.
As the sleepiness faded away and his eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness, Bobby heard scratching noises. He sighed and propped himself up with his elbows and listened. But there was something different this time. It sounded louder and felt as if the noises weren’t only coming from the window. They were coming from inside his bedroom.
“Ow!” he cried out and slapped the nape of his neck.
Something large squirmed underneath his hand. He squeezed over the thing and tossed it away. It was then that he felt small legs moving across his arms. In a panic, he brushed away the things hidden in the shadows and darted across the room. He heard crunching and felt prickly goo beneath his feet as he stumbled towards the light switch. Then the bedroom went silent.
Bobby gulped and pinched the switch between his index finger and thumb, his heart pounding. He hesitated for several seconds before building up the courage to turn the light on, imagining what it would reveal.
He pushed the switch upward and widened his eyes, his jaw dropping at the sight of scores of brown locusts, all at least three inches long. They were clinging to his curtains and crawl-ing all over the furniture and hardwood floor. Then they all seemed to take notice of him and stopped what they were do-ing.
Bobby pressed his back against the wall and moved slowly toward the door. The locusts broke the silence with a chorus of buzzing as they flapped their wings and took flight towards him.
He screamed and reached for the doorknob. The locusts were on top of him by the time he swung the door open. He swatted at the bugs and flailed his arms as he fell into the hall-way, squishing a few of his assailants under the weight of his body.
“Help!” Bobby yelled while desperately trying to fend off the attacking insects. “Grandma! Grandpa!”
They didn’t come.
* * *
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Robert “Sharky” Pruneda is a native Texan, video game “enthusiast” [addict], and fan of all things horror. He left a career in the newspaper industry in 2011 to pursue the life of a nocturnal author, brainstorming new and creative ways to creep out his readers. He doesn’t only write horror though. He also pens the occasional family-oriented tale just to keep from going completely nuts with all those creatures of the night whispering in his ears. When he’s not pulling ideas out of his twisted brain, you’ll likely find him on social media or fighting alongside his fellow gaming buddies where they all get shot up into Swiss cheese (or turned into little bite-sized chunks because of “Sharky’s” obsession with explosives). Medic!
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