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Contact Information: Gary Towner
1716 Oak Drive
Fernley, Nevada 80408
[email protected]

Horror/Sci-Fi Novel
(WGA 1350205)

Army Colonel Pox, under orders to vacate an underground research bunker at the close of World War II, illegally buries toxic waste in an isolated Kansas field not far from the town of Keyly. He moves to cover his tracks with the murder of his own troops who threatens to expose him. Forty-five years later, a brown odorous slime saturates a farmer's storage bin filled to the brim with crops grown from a new experimental seed. It is the beginning of a great tragedy.

Agriculturist Ronald Huntly retires from the Army and he takes a motorcycle jaunt along the southern Florida coast. He stops for a beer at Smokey Joes bar where a phone call informs him his mother has just died. Huntly races to Keyly to attend the funeral. Seeing the need, he decides to settle down, intent on helping the impoverished farmers in the area improve their crop yields. But, he finds the finicky townsfolk continually prove unworthy of his humanitarian efforts to support them. The one exception to the rule being the Mayor's daughter, Sandy. The two strike up a lop-sided love affair that Huntly is powerless to resist. However, unbeknownst to anyone, not long after his arrival, the contaminated crops soon cause hoards of grasshoppers to mutate into carnivorous killers. Huntly's becomes the first to discover the emerging mutant's murderous intent. In mind numbing pain-he runs away after a swarm attack he barely survives.

Huntly escapes Walter Reed, after mid-treatment for his mental and physical wounds, with a little help from his pretty nurse Roxanne. He hurries back to Keyly to warn the locals of the peril they are just beginning to suspect is approaching. He knows only too well that now he will most likely have to again face the terrifying mutants. But he arrives too late. After a particularly devastating mutant raid on Keyly, everyone seeks refuge in the town church. The sighting of Army troops accumulating nearby is welcomed at first, but their orders are to eradicate more than mere mutinous insects. Even though the Army vigorously engages the incredibly huge swarms of the flying scourge, the military and civilian death toll quickly rises exponentially. Consequently, the church Reverend is horrified by the carnage inside and outside his church. He regresses into a series of apocalyptic ravings until it is obvious to all he has been driven insane by a secret he has harbored for more than 40 years.

Huntly feverishly acts on a plan he has devised to save the town and its people. But, mostly due to intrigue, he is powerless to save everyone. In a surprise admission, Roxanne reveals to Huntly a startling relevance; she also has been harboring a dark secret; this one shatters Huntly to his core. Now, Huntly concludes, he must rise above his seemingly insurmountable external obstacles, not to mention his formable personal demons, without the blessings of the locals that initially hated him, without the compassion of the women he thought he loved, and despite the awesome might of the U.S. Government.

Published by Small Dogma Publishing and available in paperback and Kindle form at Amazon. Also, Barnes & Noble and Books a Million has it.

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