The redbugs are coming, and they bring death to those they touch.

But first you may suffer from intense sweating, hives all over your body, violent seizures, skin necrosis.

It’s possible the redbug won’t kill you.

It may burrow inside your neck, turning you into what the CDC calls a “nest person.” Drifting in and out of consciousness, you could have the cognitive abilities of someone who’s gone through extensive electroshock therapy.

David Massengill’s debut novel follows the struggles of a handful of survivors in the infested Pacific Northwest. A Homeland Security exterminator seeks his estranged cousin while completing a tour of duty in the Washington desert. A young woman volunteers at an urban refugee center to keep constant watch over her nest person mother. A man journeys south from a research lab in ravaged Seattle and discovers a mansion occupied by a 19-year-old megalomaniac and his female nest person servants.

Can these people live through the extermination days? Can the government eradicate the redbug with insecticide and bombs? Or will all succumb to the RED SWARM?

“David Massengill delivers near unbearable doses of suspense and shock in his post-apocalyptic chiller, Red Swarm. Deadly, flesh-seeking redbugs have taken over the Pacific Northwest, leaving behind a nightmare world for the survivors. Riveting, intense and unpredictable, Red Swarm takes the reader on a deliciously creepy, wild ride. With his masterfully macabre prose, Massengill does for bugs what Hitchcock did for our feathered friends in The Birds. You’ll never be able to look at an insect the same way again. This is a must-read for horror fans!” –Kevin O’Brien (No One Needs To Know, Tell Me You’re Sorry)

“Never have I read a novel that creeps me out so bad that I want to get it as far away from me as possible, like by tossing it onto a freighter headed overseas or something, and yet at the same time I find so compelling and insidious and engrossing and inevitable that I am forced to continue reading against my will, all the while feeling the phantom tingle of redbugs burrowing in my neck and turning me into a nest person. I hate you, David Massengill, for writing a book that is smart, witty, swiftly paced, and brilliantly conceived, yet at the same time is so creepy it makes my gums itch! Egad! I’m still having nightmares!” –Garth Stein (A Sudden Light, The Art of Racing in the Rain)

Get it from:
Amazon.com
 

What are the consequences of an American tourist stealing a jawbone from a tomb in a Parisian cemetery? Or a husband and wife employing a house sitter as bait for the entity that has been terrorizing their home? Or a Bel Air housewife swallowing a worm-like import from Africa with the intention of losing weight? David’s short story collection Fragments of a Journal Salvaged from a Charred House in Germany, 1816 and other stories (Hammer and Anvil Books) explores such questions with characters whose choices in life are occasionally wise decisions and oftentimes lethal mistakes. Over 20 of these tales have appeared in literary magazines, including Burial Day Books, Danse Macabre, Eclectica Magazine, The New Flesh, Pulp Metal Magazine, and Yellow Mama.

“Brilliant, quirky, ironic, and scary…. Reading David Massengill’s short story collection is like watching a Twilight Zone marathon. A masterful story-teller, Massengill weaves a series of haunting tales that will keep readers mesmerized—and unnerved….” –Kevin O’Brien (author of Tell Me You’re Sorry, Terrified)

“The genius of a David Massengill story lies not simply in its taut narrative, its bizarre and disturbing elements, its cracking pace, or its dark humor. No, the genius lies in an insistence that the protagonist is complicit in his own demise, even if only through a fleeting thought or a careless action. It is a twisted American gothic karma that Massengill has painted in this collection, and it’s a world and a morality that will keep you reading story after story after fascinating, riveting, blood-curdling story….” –Garth Stein (author of A Sudden Light, The Art of Racing in the Rain)

Get it from:
Amazon.com

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David and his talented friend Soyon Im have published I Just Want to be Loved by You and You and You, an approximately 50-page book that includes three stories about infidelity. The short story collection features Soyon’s exquisitely written “Love.com,” about a Korean woman who ventures into an extramarital affair on the Web. In David’s “No Mas Mi Amor, 1959,” a TV actor cheats with a married car salesman and suspects he’s being unfaithful to himself. And David’s ghost story, “The Little Man,” leads the reader into a haunted hotel room where an elderly woman seeks the spirit of her long-dead lover.

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Amazon.com
Lulu.com


I just want to be loved by you and you and you
Gothic Blue Book: The Revenge Edition (Burial Day Books) features 15 short stories and poems that provide cutting-edge interpretations of the historical gothic tale. David’s suburban ghost story “Bellevue” is in the anthology. Other contributors include Chad Brown, Tara Cleves, M.N. Hanson, Phil Hickes, Emma Hinge, K. Trap Jones, Daniel Kraus, Carl Palmer, Cynthia Pelayo, Gerardo Pelayo, Cortney Philip, Wednesday Silverwood, Jennifer A. Smith, and Melissa Stanziale.

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Amazon.com

David’s contribution to Gothic Blue Book IV: The Folklore Edition (Burial Day Books) is “Looking Glass,” a tale of Southern horror set in Savannah, GA. The anthology also includes work by New York Times bestselling author Jay Bonansinga (The Walking Dead: Fall of the Governor Part 1 & 2, The Road to Woodbury) and Bram Stoker Award-winning author Bruce Boston (Dark Roads: Selected Long Poems 1971-2012, Surrealities).

Get it from:
Amazon.com


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David’s story “The Gold Scalpel” appears in State of Horror: California, a Rymfire eBooks anthology offering six tales of terror set in the Golden State. In David’s story, one woman’s thieving scheme leads to a catastrophic loss. Contributors to the book include Wendra Chambers, Samuel Marzioli, James A. Sabata, Bryce Wilson, and Wayne Via.

Get it from:
Amazon.com
Lulu.com
Smashwords

State of Horror: California
William Pauley III and Brian Barnett, editors of the online literary magazine The New Flesh, have published a free(!) e-book featuring their favorite stories from the magazine’s second year of existence. Long Live the New Flesh: Year Two includes David’s horror tale “Grocery List,” which is not for those with sensitive stomachs.

Get it from:
newfleshmagazine.com

The New Flesh Year Two
You’ll find David’s Sapphic ghost story “Getaway” in the anthology Clones, Fairies, & Monsters in the Closet, which offers an eclectic mix of queer mystery, adventure, sci-fi, horror, and romance stories. (Interestingly, David’s spooky tale made it into the romance section.) The book is published by Exter Press and edited by Bill Olver, who helms the excellent Big Pulp literary magazine.

Get it from:
Amazon.com

Clones, Fairies & Monsters in the Closet