by Nick Alverson

ASIN: B0125MRT18

Publisher Nick Alverson

Published in Literature & Fiction/Contemporary, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description


Insane-O-Tron is a hilarious trip into the absurd and surreal, with stories about a family-themed TV show gone wrong, inter-species dating, a talking haircut, trick-or-treating with a candy wizard, magical dancing ponies and an earwig’s day trip to the gutter. These stories are insane!

Sample Chapter


The stone archway of the Temple’s ancient entrance loomed before Tommy like a gateway to his own sarcophagus. Once he went in, there would be no coming out. The cold feel of the ancient ruins sang in sharp contrast to the hot and smoky air that filled his lungs. Every second or two a bullet broke the air just over his head, or ricocheted wildly off the stone columns, whistling as it tore past him. He tried to make himself as small as possible, but the two crates of tartar sauce, currently serving as his only protection from the armed pirates closing in around him, offered little in the way of cover. A bullet struck one of the crates, exploding the cheap white condiment all over his face. He wiped it off with his shirt and checked his sword. No more bullets, so he tossed it aside.

The body of one of the pirates lay crumpled on the stairway to his left. A slow red trickle issued forth from the body; it looked like melted strawberry jam. Above the noise of the battle Tommy heard them shouting at one another as they closed in. He only had a few minutes left before they finally overran his position and filled his body with lead. The thought made him queasy and he attempted to push it away. He had to think. If only Harry was here, he might know what to do. Thunk! Crack, thunk, crack! More shots rang out and slammed into the crates. Soon they would be no more and he would be fully exposed.

Tommy moved to his knees and crept forward. He saw more armed pirates shooting and moving forward, taking cover where they could. Think, stupid, think! He recoiled as a bullet clipped the crate, sending splinters of deadly miniature shrapnel through the air. He turned his attention to the archway. Inside was the Insane-O-Tron, imbedded in the Temple’s stony grasp, an aqua jewel in a stone sea. He had to get it to work. He turned around, staying as low as possible, and waited until there was a momentary lull in the shooting, then he sprang to his feet and rushed inside the Temple.

The air inside was thick. It threatened to choke him as he rushed forward, guided through the darkness by the dull aqua glow. He vaulted over a broken slab of marble and ran to the crates stacked around the Insane-O-Tron. Thunk! Thunk! Two bullets pinged off the stone wall above him, showering his head with sharp pieces of rock. He saw five pirates come rushing through the archway and take cover. He didn’t have much time.

The chamber he was in was wide with high ceilings stretching maybe thirty feet to the top, open and cavernous. A large hollow echo sounded every time a gun was fired. It amplified the sound, rattling his brain and making his ears ring. Tommy shrank down, his back now against the crates. He looked at the Insane-O-Tron and its foreign symbols – an untranslatable alphabet that wrapped around it. For a brief moment Tommy thought he could actually read the symbols, as if they suddenly made complete and total sense to him. Then that feeling passed and he was left staring at them, unable to read the cryptic language. He needed the code. That was when he noticed the eye patch.

It was sitting on the ground at the base of the wall. Tommy scrambled forward, staying low, and grabbed the patch. Bullets pinged from everywhere now and Tommy knew he only had thirty seconds at most. He slipped the patch on. For a moment nothing happened and then the patch sprang to life and the symbols shone bright blue in his left eye. “C’mon!” he yelled.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw the flash of tropical pink. He whirled to his right and saw someone appear out of the dark recesses of the Temple. He ducked back down and realized this would be his last chance. He tapped at the eye patch and quickly said a prayer. He stood, completely exposing himself to the gunfire, and tapped a symbol on the face of the Insane-O-Tron. The symbol glowed a little brighter. He tapped another symbol and it glowed brighter still. He reached out to tap the last symbol in the sequence when he heard a click behind him and realized that he was out of time.

“You’re a real scum-sucking, shit-eating, fucking shit, shitty, shit-eater,” Mr. Greene said. Tommy slowly turned and saw Mr. Greene with his sword pointed right at his face. His stomach took a hellish drop. Mr. Greene smiled, exposing perfectly straight white teeth. He looked like a shark before a meal.

“Fuck you, Mr. Greene. Fuck you in your ass,” Tommy said.

Mr. Greene decided to pull the trigger, and that’s when the lights in the cave went out and the laser show started.

Mr. Greene looked toward the cave as a blue laser beam shot across it like a deep blue lightning. It arced up the steps of the Temple, gaining altitude, then leveled off and entered the chamber. The laser found its mark; Mr. Greene’s head exploded and his lifeless corpse crumpled at Tommy’s feet.

Suddenly shouts and gunfire once again filled the air as the pirates turned their attention to the laser shooter. Blue lasers filled the darkness. Tommy, realizing his opportunity, turned back to the Insane-O-Tron and pushed his finger on the third symbol. Suddenly it began to spin and he was caught in an intense white light. Something inside the Insane-O-Tron was screaming. It was high-pitched and powerful. Then Tommy was gone, disappeared, to God knows where... or when.


Excerpted from "Insane-O-Tron" by Nick Alverson. Copyright © 2015 by Nick Alverson. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Nick Alverson

Nick Alverson

Nick Alverson lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their rescue dog. He writes stories with fun characters, set in crazy and absurd situations. Nick's writing is like riding a roller coaster in the dark with a piece of the track missing. You'll never predict the twists and turns and eventually the car is going off the rails.

View full Profile of Nick Alverson

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