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Plague Monkey Spam

Plague Monkey Spam

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Plague Monkey Spam

135 pages
1 hour
Apr 18, 2018


BOBBY KAYE’s life story started and ended with an e-mail and then the monkey dung hit the fan. We’re talking blue plague monkeys, tulwar-swinging cab drivers, a ride-on mower caravan of unbridled mass consumption and a moon-infatuated eight-legged story-telling spider god going toe-to-toe-to-toe-toe with the merciless scud-spear wielding Nigerian spam genie – Prince Kinda-Wanna!

This is the wildest and weirdest novellas that I have ever written.

Not recommended for young readers or those who are easily offended.

"An Anansi tale that reads as if it were written by William S. Burroughs." - Hellnotes

"If Harlan Ellison, Richard Matheson and Robert Bloch had a three-way sex romp in a hot tub, and then a team of scientists came in and filtered out the water and mixed the leftover DNA into a test tube, the resulting genetic experiment would most likely grow up into Steve Vernon." - Bookgasm

Apr 18, 2018

About the author

Steve Vernon is a storyteller. The man was born with a campfire burning at his feet. The word "boring" does not exist in this man's vocabulary - unless he's maybe talking about termites or ice augers. That’s all that Steve Vernon will say about himself – on account of Steve Vernon abso-freaking HATES talking about himself in the third person. But I’ll tell you what. If you LIKED the book that you just read drop me a Tweet on Twitter – @StephenVernon - and yes, old farts like me know how to twitter – and throw in a link to the Kobo version – and I’d be truly grateful. Reviews are ALWAYS appreciated – but I know that not all of you folks are into writing big long funky old reviews – so shout the book out just any way that you can – because I can use ALL the help I can get.

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Plague Monkey Spam - Steve Vernon





Steve Vernon

Stark Raven Press

Smashwords Edition 2018




If you read this novella, you will be in one hell of a lot of trouble. Remember in the Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy and her friends are on their way to the Witch’s castle and they find themselves walking through a sinister, shadow-enshrouded forest? Remember the sign that warns I’d Turn Back If I Were You?

Consider this introduction that sign.

Don’t get me wrong: what lies between these pages is a wonderfully written, hi-octane, kick-in-the-ass funhouse ride with amazing surreal imagery and unbelievably twisted turns of phrase that will make you burst out laughing even as they lodge in your gray matter like rusted railroad spikes. Steve Vernon has delivered some good stuff in Plague Monkey Spam, people.

This is primo shit. Let’s be perfectly clear on that.

That’s not the problem.

Beginning writers often ask pros for advice about writing and publishing, and though they never come out and say so openly, they’re always looking for The Secret. That one magical thing – a narrative trick, a penetrating insight, a something – that will lift their work above the merely competent and make it publishable. Make it something that readers will actually pay for, not just with money (though, as the Frankenstein Monster might say, Money goooooooooood!), but with currency far more valuable: their time and attention. Pros will smile tolerantly and say things like It just takes time, stick with it or You’re close. Don’t stop now. Or, if all else fails, they’ll mumble this phrase from the I-Ching: Perseverance furthers.

That’s all bullshit.

There is a SECRET and it’s one that Steve Vernon, God bless or damn him (probably both) has had the Godzilla-sized cojones to reveal in Plague Monkey Spam. Allow me, if you would, to illustrate by way of a little digression. I’d recently separated from my wife, and my two daughters were spending the weekend with me at my new apartment. Nothing fancy, just a one-bedroom job with affordable rent that wasn’t located next to a crackhouse (this last a very important selling point for a soon-to-be-divorced dad who didn’t want this daughters ducking gunfire as they lugged their backpacks full of clothes, videogames, books, and toys from the car to the apartment.)

My youngest daughter noticed a knickknack sitting on the end table to the right of the love seat (both pieces of furniture purchased cheap at a hotel liquidator’s). She picked up the clear crystal cube and peered at the form of a spun glass spider embedded within.

What’s this, Daddy?

Ice-needles pierced my gut and a cold drop of sweat rolled down my spine to pool in the small of my back. I’d been so careful back at the house before I’d moved out, but the stress of separation had made my usually fuzzy mind absolutely hirsute, and I forgotten to put the cube away before the girls arrived.

It’s . . . nothing, honey. I failed to keep my voice from quavering. Just a-a decoration.

She held the cube up to her face so she could get a better look at the spider inside, and I psychically urged, Don’t look too close, don’t SEE . . . Her eyes widened and her hand started to tremble, and for a terrible moment, I thought it was too late, that she’d discovered the Secret.

But then she shrugged, put the crystal cube back down on the end table, said, Cool, and went off to play Nintendo Dogs on her DS.

I sighed with relief, and when neither of my daughters was paying attention, I picked up the cube and put hid it in my bedroom closet.

You see, writers don’t make up stories. Did you ever hear of the conservation of energy? That old saw about how matter can neither be created nor destroyed? It’s the same with stories.

Stories have to come from somewhere but gaining access to those stories comes with a price: we can never tell the truth about where we got them, that the stories belong to someone else, someone Who Must Not Be Named, and we’re only allowed to borrow them if we keep our fucking mouths shut. There are consequences if we tell. Our benefactor can be generous in His own way, but He also can be a ruthless vindictive motherfucker when crossed. At best, our ability to lie successfully goes pop like an overstretched soap bubble, and then – just like in The Emperor’s New Clothes – some little kid is suddenly standing there, pointing at our dicks and shouting, I can see the Emperor’s wee-wee! Once that happens, the story tit goes dry for us, and it’s career over, man. At worst . . .

You don’t want to know at worst.

I don’t know how much longer Steve’s got, but given how much he reveals in Plague Monkey Spam I’m certain it’s too late for him. But you, my friend, you still have a chance.

Do NOT turn this page.

Do NOT start reading, no matter how goddamned good it is. Because when you’re fi nished, you’ll know the Secret of Stories. And once you do, you’ll be tempted to start worshipping Him, and if you do, you’ll spend the rest of your life typing away on a computer, desperately trying to get the stories out of your head and onto the screen before your brain explodes like little Mikey with his bellyful of Pop Rocks and soda. You’ll lose sleep because you can’t stop the stories from racing through your mind, and you’ll have to get them down, NOW! Your health will suffer because you’ll eat only the minimum amount of junk food necessary to sustain your life, you’ll drink too much caffeine to keep yourself alert at the keyboard, and as for exercise, fugedaboutit. You won’t be able to pry your ass off your writing chair with an adamantium crowbar.

And if you’re lucky enough to have solid emotional relationships with other human beings, they’ll go to hell faster than you can say, Maybe later, honey. Right now I have to write.

And as if all that didn’t suck enough, one day your daughter might pick up your totem of worship and peer into its depths and a few hours later, when Nintendo DS has gotten boring, she might gaze up at you with a faraway look in her eyes and, in a thoughtful voice, utter these horrific words: You know, Daddy, I think I want to be a writer when I grow up.

Don’t say you haven’t been warned.


A man can find God in the damndest of places. There’s just no telling how an epiphany will play itself out.

There’s an order to life, and it runs like this. Hum along if you don’t know the words. Sometimes things happen because you make them happen. That’s called karma and it is the favorite four-star rated, two thumbs up, sundae topping of choice for any god you care to mention. The gods invented karma for its stickiness. It clings to you like freshly flung monkey dung. On the other hand, sometimes things just happen for no particular reason at all. That’s called life. It starts and ends like any other story.

Bobby Kaye’s life story started and ended with an e-mail from hell.

Hello good friend. In all heart I write to you, offering you this chance in one of your lifetimes. E-mail me here, at for an opportunity your eyes will fall out to believe. Drugs, all kinds, you will want everything. Gods will it, sending soon. All you have to do is ask. ARdeth99.

Damn! Bobby swore. There it goes again.

What’s wrong, honey? Maggie asked.

Bobby looked up. Maggie stood there in the doorway of his home office, wearing her blue flannel bathrobe and the pair of

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