Rattus, New Yorkus
One Size Eats All #2
by Hunter Shea


They’re Bigger
Deep in the sewers of New York City, the rat population is growing. Dr.
Randolph Finch is determined to break the cycle. His new rodenticide,
Degenesis, doesn’t kill rats. It sterilizes them from reproducing.
But nothing adapts faster than a New York rat . . .

They’re Smarter
City exterminators and soon-to-be divorced Chris and Benita Jackson think
they know how these rats think. They know how rats breed. And they
fear that Degenesis has only made these rats stronger. More
aggressive. More intelligent. And more ravenous than ever . . .

Tonight’s Dinner Special: Us
After a noticeable surge in rat den activity, the Jacksons witness
something strange. Without warning, the rats disappear—only to
reassemble in a massive lair beneath Grand Central Station. Millions
upon millions of them. Working together. Operating as a hive mind.
Feasting on the flesh of the homeless below—and planning their
all-out attack on the unsuspecting humans above . . .

Raves for The Montauk Monster
Old school horror.” —Jonathan Maberry
A lot of splattery fun.”—Publishers Weekly
Frightening, gripping.”—Night Owl Reviews

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The Secret Life of Rats

Rats give me the willies. I know I’m not alone in feeling that way. When my kids were precious little darlings, they used to beg me to buy them a pet rat. They got a betta fish instead.
Beyond my natural ‘ick’ reaction when I see a rat’s undulating body loping down a subway track, I also can’t help myself from thinking of the host of diseases that rats carry and spread. You know, pleasant little things like hantavirus, hepatitis, leptospirosis, a fun little malady called Rat Bite Fever, or RBF, Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome and this little thing called THE PLAGUE, just to skim the top of a very long list. They are deadly and they are everywhere!
All that being said, as a kid, I was fascinated by any movie that involved rats. Lucky for me, I grew up in a time when some of the best rat movies ever made were hitting the screen, from Willard to Food of the Gods and Ben. I named my hamster Ben. He was the meanest SOB that ever lived, with a taste for human flesh not seen since Jeffrey Dahmer. On a side note, did you know that a young Michael Jackson sang the theme song to Ben?
As a lover of nature gone feral, and sometimes colossal, the rat movies hit me the hardest because they made my skin crawl. I would literally screw myself up in my seat, yet unable to take my eyes off a swarming horde of vermin or rats the size of bulls crawling all over a cabin. I cheered on the giant ants in Them! and the killer rabbits in Night of the Lepus, but man oh man, I wanted those rats to be gone ASAP whenever they came on the screen. For me, they were the ultimate bad guy. Give me the devil and a head spinning possession any day over a box o’ rats.
Doing research for my book, Rattus New Yorkus, I sat down with exterminators to learn more about the very thing I wanted to know less about. It turns out that rats, especially the Norway rats prevalent in New York, are smart. I mean, the kind of smart that keeps me up at night worrying. How smart? If you lay out poison for them, they will send the weakest rat to eat it. Then, they’ll wait and see what happens to the royal taste tester. If it dies, they don’t touch the poison. Scarily, it doesn’t’ take them long to become immune to a new poison. I wish I could adapt as well to White Castle burgers.
They also learn how to avoid traps, that knowledge passed down to other generations. In the first chapter of Rattus New Yorkus, there’s a scene with a crafty vermin devising an ingenious way to avoid being stuck to a glue trap. I wish I had made that up, but it was based on a real life observation. I did not enjoy my time with the exterminators.
Oh, and rats are very, very good at multiplying. The little buggers enjoy making more little buggers, and they make many! A female rat can give birth four or more times a year, popping out a dozen suckers at a time. And it only takes a few weeks for the babies to be ready to make babies of their own. *shudders*
True story time A very good friend of mine had rented a tiny furnished apartment in the suburbs in the 90s. It was a total dive, but he was proud of it because it was all his. The first night there, he fell asleep on the couch. He was awakened when he felt something squirming underneath the cushion. He pulled it up and saw there were rats trying to get out from the nest they’d made wiyhin the couch! To make matters worse, more rats fell on him from a hole in the drop ceiling. He ran out of the apartment and lived in his car for a whole month until he could find a new place.
In this day and age, with exposure to everything on a 24/7 basis, it’s easy to become jaded. Scary books and movies have a harder and harder time eliciting chills to people who can watch a video of a person getting mauled to death by a bear on their phone. You need something that taps an instinctual reflex to cringe. Rats do that for me, and millions of others. If you think you’re NOT one of them, I have the keys to my friend’s old apartment.

Get Jurassic, Florida: One Size Eats All #1 HERE!

Hunter Shea is the product of a misspent childhood watching scary
movies, reading forbidden books and wishing Bigfoot would walk past
his house. He’s the author of over 17 books, including The
Jersey Devil (Pinnacle 2016)), Tortures of the
Damned (Pinnacle 2015), and We Are Always
Watching (Sinister Grin). Hunter’s novels can even be found on
display at the International Cryptozoology Museum. The Montauk
Monster (Pinnacle 2014) was named one of the best reads of the
summer by Publishers Weekly. He was selected to be part of the
launch of Samhain Publishing’s new horror line in 2011 alongside
legendary author Ramsey Campbell. His video podcast, Monster
Men, is one of the most watched horror podcasts in the world. Living
with his crazy and supportive family and two cats, he’s happy to be
close enough to New York City to see the skyline without having to
pay New York rent.

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