Environmental Satire / Thriller
Date Published: November 24, 2014
Joseph Vogorev hates spiders and loves money. As the president and CEO of chemical giant Pest No More, he develops a neurotoxin pesticide specially formulated to target only arachnid species. When outspoken environmentalist Gale Pacalis realizes the potential for planet-wide devastation, he wants more than anything to bring Vogorev down. With a host of quirky friends, he collects data to prove Arach-No-More’s lethality. Teenaged Amelia joins his group because she’s personally invested; her pink kneed tarantula, Pinky, died. It’s a race to save the world, but as Gale and his friends go head-to-head with Vogorev, the many obstacles they face makes it seem impossible to win. Mainly because Vogorev has unlimited money and a limited conscience.
Vogorev waved the aerosol can in the air. “The specialized and patented nozzle on this can disperses the contents at five hundred feet per second. Not exactly the speed of light, but still pretty damn quick.” He chuckled.
There was a strained silence and then a lone high-pitched voice called out, “Those are spiders up there!”
Gale looked up at a tank right above his head. The lady was right. The outline of spiders pressed against the plastic was unmistakable; all of those little legs writhing and clawing to get out. There had to be thousands of them in the tanks, throwing themselves against the side as if they were crazy. Before anyone else had the chance to react, a scraping sound echoed off the walls as the bottom of the containers slid open and hairy tarantulas rained down over the audience amid screams and shrieks. Gale stared at Vogorev and saw how he calmly depressed the spray nozzle for several seconds, then smiled and took a few steps backward.
The audience was frenzied, jumping up and down, brushing eight-legged bodies off their pin-striped suits and designer dresses. Gale shook a spider off his head and stepped over a couple of carcasses as the investors exchanged horrified glances with one another. They were trembling and shuddering and holding onto each other. The spiders, however, did nothing.
When Vogorev spoke, the people paid attention as if he was a messiah, “I told you to trust me. Look around. The spiders are all dead. They were dead long before they even hit the ground.”
Gale picked up a carcass at his feet. True to Vogorev’s word, the spider was dead. They were all dead. Thousands of tarantulas lay on the floor as if a mass arachnid suicide had just occurred.
About the Author
Sofia Diana Gabel started life in Sydney, Australia, but her family moved to the United States when she was very young. Home wasn’t settled for a long time and included living in Toronto, Canada; Henrietta and Buffalo, New York; Northridge, Southern California; a short stint back in Sydney, Australia; Reno, Nevada; Dallas, Texas; Daytona Beach, Florida, with an eventual semi-settled life in Ojai and Ventura, Southern California as a single parent to her three daughters.
Perhaps the unsettled partial nomadic lifestyle is the reason she loves to travel and is never fully satisfied with where she’s living. Moving around and travelling to different countries are adventures which serve as potential settings and plots for stories. A multi-genre fiction writer, with degrees in environmental science and archaeology, and coursework in creative writing and criminal justice, she enjoys being out in nature, keeping up on archaeological discoveries and learning about the law, criminal behavior and police procedures (all with, once again, potential for stories!)
When she's not glued to her desk writing or researching, she loves to spend time with her family and hairless Sphynx cats. Writing is a true passion, born from a love of the written word and how those words can transport the reader to different places or worlds and deliver them back to reality, safe and sound.
One print copy of Pest Control