Today I shine the spotlight on the horror novel, Edging by Michael Schutz. I have a look at the book, an excerpt, plus the book trailer. Enjoy!
Edging by Michael Schutz
Intenze is the newest designer drug. Take it, and nightmares come alive. The fears of all those who “edge” summon the Thirst—a living miasma that thrives on terror. Rick Carlson needs to protect his family and dear friends from the horrifying storm that’s coming, but they don’t all want to be saved. And time is running out.
Edging is available at Amazon
Steven loved scary movies, same as his girlfriend, Trish. Horror fiction not so much, she had confided to him, though she’d read all the bestsellers. No, she liked to see the faces full of terror, watch movement in the shadows of good cinematography, and hear the heartbeat thumps of a menacing score.
That’s why Steven thought she’d love to edge.
His upstairs neighbor had come knocking just as Steven was heading out for the gym. Kenny’s dark unlined face and retro Jheri curl placed his age anyway from twenty to forty. In the past they’d struck up a friendly rapport at the mailboxes out front. He invited Kenny in, feeling underdressed in his own apartment. Kenny was decked out in an olive green suit with red shirt and red pocket square while Steven wore his blue track suit with his Brewers cap hiding his unkempt shaggy brown hair.
Facing each other on the couch, Kenny stared at Steven with red-ringed brown eyes throbbing with intensity while the gentle cadences of his pitchman’s speech lulled Steven into a sort of trance.
“It’s a further distillation of lysergic acid diethylamide.” Kenny sounded like a marijuana aficionado waxing philosophical about strains of Kush.
“Yeah. Paired with a particular strain of psilocybin. The drug targets the fear center of the brain to induce mild panic, hallucinations, stressed heart rate—”
“It gives you a bad trip.”
Kenny shrugged. “What’s ‘bad’? People shell out millions of dollars a year at Six Flags. Every summer, some new Destination or Scream movie rakes in at the box office. All to scare people who can afford a hundred bucks to take the family out.” He held up a flat, tiny white disc on the tip of his finger. “This baby’s just twenty bucks for the same thing. It’s called edging.”
Steven took the little pill into his hand. It weighed nothing and looked so innocuous lying in his palm that he found it hard to argue with his neighbor’s rationale.
“It looks like aspirin.” He turned it over. The imprint on the other side read 1N10Z.
“Actually,” Kenny said, “it was. Now it’s the delivery mechanism. That there,” he pointed to the imprint, “is where this baby gets its name—Intenze.”
“Listen, Kenny, I don’t do drugs.”
Kenny shrugged again and reached to take the pill away. Steven pulled his hand back an inch.
“But you say it’s just, like, entertainment?”
Kenny smiled. “Its physical effects are like riding that big coaster at Disneyland. The hallucinations are like walking through a Halloween haunted house: spooky faces, shadows stalking around. But it’s different for everyone. Auditory sometimes—voices, you know?”
“That doesn’t sound fun.”
“This only lasts half a minute.”
Steven laughed. “And that sounds like a rip-off!”
“Brother,” Kenny lowered his voice, “you take this, it’s the most intense horror movie you’ve ever seen. Because you’re in it. It’s all around you, and you’re participating. It’s one freight train of a rush. But, c’mon, if that kind of high lasted too long, you’d blow your circuits.”
Michael Schutz was born and raised in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin, where the macabre tales of Ray Bradbury and Stephen King kept him warm at night. He’s seen way too many horror movies to be healthy and blogs and podcasts about them on Darkness Dwells. He is the author of the novels Edging and Blood Vengeance and the novella Uninoch. His short fiction has been featured most recently in Crossroads in the Dark II: Urban Legends, Dark Moon Digest, Sanitarium, and the anthologies Beasts: Revelations, Beyond the Nightlight, and Cranial Leakage: Tales from the Grinning Skull. He lives with his three naughty cat-children in northern California. You can keep tabs on him at: http://www.