• The Finster Effect

    What happens when a malevolent Minister, a pregnant fast-food manager, a loyal dog, and the son of a kidnapper are forced to navigate an undead apocalypse and swarms of super-intelligent rats? The cannibalistic undead plague a Michigan town, prompting the National Guard to join forces with the Michigan Militia. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, there’s a cat stuck in a goddamn tree! Will anyone survive, and will their humanity remain intact? The Finster Effect is the fourth terrifying novel from the author of A Stabbing for Sadie and Kiss Me Like You Love Me, and the creator of Stig and the Puppetman.

    Reviews for The Finster Effect

    I received an advance copy of this for review. I am a long-time fan of Wed’s horror, and after Kiss Me and Sadie, I expected Wednesday to weave another convoluted tale that was not for the meek.

    The Finster Effect is this author’s normal style, which can hop back and forth between perspectives of characters to give a fuller view of the plot, taken to 11 on the dial. I understand that some readers may find this style of narrative “disjointed” or “confusing,” but focused readers will find it easy to follow. Zombie Fic is, at this point, an overtrod ground, but Wed takes it to a fresh place. The story is solid, and readers may find themselves drowning in narrative overload – some of us really like that.

    Frankly, I think this book needs to be optioned for a movie. It reads like one – a sick, demented movie, perhaps by Lynch, that swoops and dives at all the right points. I read it through in two nights, utterly enjoying it every step of the way.

    – J. Grant

    Wednesday Lee Friday brings the reader to rural Michigan at a time when colliding events turn the world upside down. The Finster Effect is edgy, graphic, and suspenseful as the story unfolds into a barrage of imagery that devours the readers attention. Zombies, rat plagues, ‘end of the world’ fanatics… definitely a new twist to the zombie apocalypse genre.

    – Mitchell Fedruk

    This is a great read. The characters are fascinating and the story keeps you involved. Once you pick up this novel you don’t want to put it down.

    – Ann Marie

    Close

    Chapter 1

    Reverend Jacob Lugner

    June 6th

    En Route to WAFX Studios

    “Come on!”  I laid on the horn before reminding myself that patience was a virtue.  Our Lord in Heaven valued patience, and so did I.  Today of all days, though, I could not be late.  Time waits for no man.

    “Happy liviiiiiing…happy miiiinds!  Men A DEX!”  That foolish jingle played all morning, every day, until I didn’t want to turn on the radio at all.  I switched off the news and tuned over to the gospel station.

    People didn’t need that poison anyway.  There’s nothing wrong with a man that God can’t fix.  People have no faith anymore, not true faith.  Everybody needs control, and pride.  Pride is a deadly sin, is it not?  Yet parents today endeavor to instill children with so much pride, they think they can do no wrong.  My own Papa had no pity for youthful foolishness, no pity for children who didn’t learn their verses.  And look where it brought me, to a loyal congregation and a lifetime of doing God’s work. Today, I continue my true calling on a grand scale.

    If the Lord helps me, I can save countless people.  Countless.  If I miss this appointment they could give my spot to someone else, someone who might poison people’s minds with all manner of trickery.   No.  I need to get to this meeting on time; and I must impress this man.  But I couldn’t do it on an empty stomach.

    The car ahead of me drove off at long last.  A tired-looking young woman held the paper bag of breakfast out the tiny window.  Sad, the way people are separated from one another through these little glass windows.  The pale, droopy brunette looked miserable as she muttered a meaningless, “Thanks.” I took the grease-spotted thing from her, shaking my head.

    “Perhaps customer service is not the right line of work for you, my dear,” I told her.  She’d probably never given it much thought.  I looked at my watch.  “Not exactly fast food is it?”  Pointing out how awful she was at this might be just the push she needs to rethink her life.  I couldn’t let an opportunity like that slip away, no matter how busy I was.

    The girl gave me an ungrateful look and turned away.  Young people had no gratitude these days.  That’s why they ought to be in church.  Once people realize how much Our Lord has done for them, they’ll have to start doing more for each other.  It just naturally follows.

    When the lackluster woman turned back to the window, I sped off.  I was in a hurry, after all.  No time to listen to the whining and justifications from a fast food waitress.  I was back on the highway when I realized she forgot to give me my orange juice.  Ten miles away from my meeting, there was no going back now.

    Today of all days, I should not have been thinking of Papa.  Not the kind, neighborly Papa they knew around town.  I’m thinking of the Papa who was quick with a belt and an Old Testament verse.  The one who believed locking me in my room for days at a time, weeks in the summer, was the way to keep me devout.  He wasn’t all wrong.  I surely would not have read the Bible so much if I’d been allowed any other book.  He meant well, my Papa.  But some days I had trouble honoring the fourth commandment.

    The meeting was in Public Access Studio C.  I was almost there, and ten minutes early.  Thank you, Lord.  I parked inside the iron gate, which was very tall and encircled two large studio buildings and four big storage huts.  They reminded me of the big dome where Papa used to practice his golf swing.  He’d take church sponsors there and they’d talk about family and community, and drink red wine.

    That mobile phone my son insisted on started making that godawful noise.  Did he really need to know where I was every minute of the day?  Or was he just calling to tell me more about that fancy new house of his?

    “Hi Dad!”  Sounded like he was grinning…again.  I had to wonder what he and that wife of his were getting up to, to make him sound so happy this early.  “Just wanted to make sure you’re doing okay.  You didn’t forget to buy bottled water did you?  Today’s the day —”

    “No, ‘Rus, I didn’t forget.  The Lord and I have managed for quite some time without you around to remind us to drink water.”  My-son-the-doctor who thought he knew every last thing on God’s earth, checking up on me again.  No idea where he gets that.  Not my wife’s way, may she rest in peace.

    “Dad, I’m only asking because—”

    “I’m going into my meeting,” I told him, “I have to hang up now.  I’ll see you for lunch on Sunday.”  It’s presumptuous of him to think I can just drop what I’m doing to talk to him about water.  I filled up a half-dozen bottles of water from the kitchen sink—same thing I do every morning.  He bought me some fancy forty-dollar bottles just to keep water in.  I buy bottles full of water at the store; don’t cost $40.  No reason not to use those with plain old water outta the tap.  But no…that’s not fancy enough for my doctor son.

    My ‘Rus seems to think old people aren’t good for anything once they get past sixty.  He oughta know better since the men in our family preached well into their nineties.  Big, God-fearing congregations, back when the whole town would turn up for Sunday service, back when more people knew that God was the path to righteousness.

    “Good morning mister…Luger?”  A white man who looked like a salesman shook my hand with a grip much harder than necessary.  Why do people feel like they need to break your hand when you’re just trying to do a bit of business?  I told him who I was and he smiled and nodded.  “We’re this way.”  He gestured past the studio and into a little lobby.

    We passed a secretary who had on too much face paint.  I thought about telling her so, but women don’t take kindly to that sort of thing.  She looked the type who might take offense, and who knows where that might lead.  Vengeful people can get up to all manner of unkind shenanigans; and it was clear that she wasn’t right with God.  Best to say nothing if you can’t say something nice, my Grandpop always said.

    We entered his smallish office that smelled like cigarettes and cheap air-freshener.  Despite the “No Smoking“ signs posted all around the place, his pale curtains were stained with tobacco smoke.

    “Why don’t you tell me what you hope to accomplish with your program?  How you think it will improve the community.”  He sounded friendly.  You can never tell with these corporate people, smiling to your face and bearing false witness against you soon as your back is turned.

    “My flock is full of so much joy.  I want to spread that joy as far as I can—to every single Christian who asks for it.” I told him.  He didn’t react.  I know his type.  “I don’t just want to share scripture with the people; I want them to know how it can fulfill their lives.  People want to learn what they can do to bring God’s plan into fruition.”  I watched him.  He nodded just a bit, and I prayed that the Lord would help me know what this man was thinking, how to convince him.

    “Not just for Christians.  Jews too.  God loves the Hebrews, I’m sure of it.  I am quite enamored with the Old Testament.”  That got him.  I knew it.  Of course I knew already that the tribe who murdered Jesus would never find their way into God’s Kingdom.

    He shook my hand and took out a folder full of contracts for me to sign.  Already, I had gone further and served God better than my own Papa did.  It was the best thing that could ever happen—television.  I would prove to the faithful—to everyone, that God was speaking to me, and not to that betrayer of children in The Vatican.  Me.  Today was my beginning.

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