Giant carnivorous, venomous centipedes here in the Ozarks? You betcha:
“I was climbing up to Devil’s Tea Table down near Kissee Mills and grabbed a stick to pull myself up,” Maynard recalled about his July 17 hiking trip. “This thing was on the back side of the stick and got me on my right index finger. It felt like someone had stuck a hot soldering iron under my skin.”
Maynard had inadvertently grabbed a 6-inch giant red-headed centipede, and it bit him with its two sharp fangs, injecting venom that caused his finger to immediately swell. Sweating from pain, he knew he was in trouble.
. . . .
The 6-incher that bit Maynard was a pipsqueak. Miller said giant red-headed centipedes can grow upwards of 10 inches in length.
. . . .
Unlike spiders that inject venom into their prey and then suck out the insides, Miller said, giant red-headed centipedes eat all of the creatures they catch, ranging from other centipedes and insects to small frogs and lizards. The centipedes actively hunt at night…
Frankly, the title of the horror movie would be The Centipedes Hunt At Night.
This really should not have worked as a novel: technical descriptions tend toward the mundane, and most of the techies I know are decidedly short on drama. What makes this worth your time is Noggle’s attention to detail: J. Random Noob will appreciate the extra exposition, and your local expert will nod, “Yeah, that’s exactly the way I’d do that. If I were going to do that, which of course I’m not.” There might be a hair too much geographical exposition — by the time you’re finished you should be able to hire on as a cab driver in St. Louis County — but no matter about that. The plot is more than sufficiently twisty; I’m pleased to report that I did not even come close to predicting the way it ended. And if the dialogue meanders a bit, hey, that’s the way these people talk. I’ve heard them, and so have you.
Doesn’t that sound like it’s worth a dollar?