Hey, kids! Here’s a quick scrap of BENJAMIN’S PARASITE for your reading ecstasy. Remember that the book is currently available for pre-order from The Horror Mall in a nice affordable trade paperback edition right here:
And, yes, I realize that the book is called BENJAMIN’S PARASITE but the kid in the below excerpt is named Brian. This snippet is from the first chapter. Hosts change…
Brian’s mom left, shutting the door behind her. She hadn’t even asked about his stomachache. No sympathy at all. Just because he’d faked it the past few times didn’t mean he was faking it this time. He let Dale know that he had to go, and then logged off.
Really, five hundred words weren’t all that many. If he set his alarm early, he could write them before school. And he’d be nice and refreshed when he finished the essay, which would make for a much higher quality final product. And maybe his stomach would hurt bad enough in the morning that his mom would have to let him stay home, giving him the whole weekend to finish it up.
A perfect plan.
He shut down his computer and turned on the television and his video game system. It was Carnage-A-Plenty time!
The game’s opening screen appeared. It was blank at first, until various internal organs splattered against it, spelling out the game’s title in guts and trickles of blood.
Carnage-A-Plenty proceeded to the character selection phase. You could play as Goregantua (weapon of choice: axe), Shreddy-Or-Not (weapon of choice: razor blades) or Rendfield (weapon of choice: cheese grater).
Brian selected Goregantua.
The game then asked if he wanted to play in Violent Mode or Peaceful Mode. If he selected Peaceful Mode, Gandhi would appear on the screen, smile, wave, and then get beaten to a bloody pulp by men with crowbars, after which the game would automatically revert to Violent Mode.
Brian selected Violent Mode, and the game began.
The premise of Carnage-A-Plenty was simple: kill stuff. The more stuff you killed, the more points you got. This was not an unusual concept for a video game. What made Carnage-A-Plenty better was that you received additional points for further mutilation of the corpses. The greater the mess, the greater your score.
As the screeching punk rock soundtrack played (quietly), Brian maneuvered Goregantua through a filthy alley. The object in this stage was to kill as many homeless people as possible.
The first derelict emerged from a garbage can and Brian swung his axe, lopping off both of the derelict’s arms with one swipe, earning himself bonus points. He was an expert at this level.
The toothless and now armless derelict tried to run away, but Brian quickly caught up to him. He pressed the attack button as rapidly as he could, axe a blur of motion, until the derelict had been reduced to a pile of bum chunks.
On the screen, Goregantua leapt into the air, came down feet-first upon the pile, and then began to twist back and forth.
“Yes!” exclaimed Brian as the words “SMEAR BONUS” flashed on the screen. Smearing your enemy’s remains was one of the more difficult special moves to pull off.
There were two quick knocks on Brian’s door.
He hurriedly pressed the panic button and set the game controller on his bed.
“Why are you watching TV?” his mother demanded, walking into the room.
“It’s a documentary,” said Brian, gesturing to the image of Abraham Lincoln on the TV screen. A monotone narrator recited the words to the Gettysburg Address.
“Is your essay done?”
“Yes.” Brian didn’t like to lie, but he could retain inner peace when he did.
“Then it’s time for bed.”
“You said ten-thirty!”
His mother suspiciously eyed the television, and then nodded. “Okay, you can watch for ten more minutes. But then it’s bedtime, all right?”
After his mother left again, Brian resumed his game. He quickly dispatched a bag lady by repeatedly running over her with her own cart, then lost several units of life-force when he was struck by wino breath.
He decapitated the wino and in another difficult move, kicked his head into the air and caught it in his mouth, swallowing it whole.
“CANNIBALISM BONUS” flashed on the screen.
“I rule,” said Brian, wishing that spectators were around to see just how much he truly ruled.
Three vagrants were huddled around a fire in a trash barrel. Brian/Goregantua quickly snatched up the barrel and incinerated the vagrants with its contents. Then he beat the shit out of their charred corpses with the barrel itself.
His stomach was really starting to hurt bad, almost like something was squirming around in there. Not enough to distract him from the game, though. In fact, he couldn’t remember ever having this much fun with Carnage-a-Plenty.
He was vaguely aware of an incredible headache as well. There was no way he could go to school like this. He’d have to stay home, and then he could play the game all day! It would be the best day ever, even better than the one where he made out with Denise MacKenzie and she let him keep his right hand on her left boob for four whole seconds before she slapped him away.
Maybe I should pause my game and go get some aspirin and Pepto Bismol, he thought. Nah. Not worth the loss of playing time.
He played for a few more minutes, impressing the hell out of himself with his awesome special moves.
Then Brian set down the game controller, walked out of his bedroom, and headed for the kitchen to find something useful to kill his mom with.