A Bad Day For Voodoo
by Jeff Strand
I’m Tyler Churchill. Not too long ago I had this insane adventure, with car chases and body parts coming off and everything, which I wrote about in the book A Bad Day For Voodoo. It’s not my job to say that it’s the best book ever written, but I will say that if you don’t read it, the following conversation will definitely take place:
[You’re walking down the sidewalk, whistling the merry tune of your choice. Up ahead you see a friend.]
YOU: Hi, friend!
YOUR FRIEND: Hi, you! Crazy party last night, huh? I’ve never seen anybody eat that many pretzels without getting a drink of water!
YOU: And who brought the rhinoceros? I kept thinking “Whoa, somebody is gonna get tusked!” but nobody did, which is good because it would have been funny at the moment of impact, but not so funny once we got into the screaming and bleeding and ambulances.
YOUR FRIEND: Were you there for the ritual?
YOU: What ritual?
YOUR FRIEND: You’ll find out. [His or her expression darkens, and he/she gives you a wicked smile.] Oh, yes, you’ll find out.
YOU: Seriously, what ritual? There was a ritual? Where was I?
YOUR FRIEND: When the time is right, all will be revealed.
YOU: C’mon, tell me what the ritual was! You can’t just throw something like that out into the conversation and then not give answers! Tell me! I need resolution! Resolution!
YOUR FRIEND: I was just kidding. We were all sitting around playing Words With Friends on our phones. Somebody played “rhinoceros” on a triple-word score, which was pretty ironic. Actually, I played “rhino” first and they added “ceros.” So what did you think of A Bad Day For Voodoo?
YOU: That new book? I didn’t read it.
[Several onlookers gasp.]
YOUR FRIEND: Excuse me?
YOU: I said I haven’t read it.
YOUR FRIEND: You…you…you haven’t read A Bad Day For Voodoo?
YOU: No. That’s okay, isn’t it?
YOUR FRIEND: Okay? Okay? Don’t you understand what this means? It means that you’re not cool!
YOU: But that’s not possible! I do cool things all the time!
YOUR FRIEND: It doesn’t matter! This is the book that will define our generation! If you’re ever on a game show and the host says “For twenty thousand dollars, please give us the definition of your generation,” you could hold up A Bad Day For Voodoo and win the twenty thousand dollars!
YOU: But…but…but…but…but…but…but…I thought it was just a silly book!
[Your friend shakes his or her head and sighs.]
YOUR FRIEND: No. It is not.
SOME GUY WHO ALSO HAPPENS TO BE IN THE AREA AND IS EAVESDROPPING ON THE CONVERSATION: You really haven’t read A Bad Day For Voodoo? Wow. I heard that those people existed, but I never thought I’d see one outside of a zoo.
YOU: You don’t have to be a jerk about it.
YOUR FRIEND: Yes, he does.
YOUR FRIEND: I never knew you were so uncool. It’s like our whole friendship was a lie.
YOU: You’re making too big of a deal out of this.
YOUR FRIEND: Do you see all of those weird-looking colorful waves that are coming out of people’s eyes?
YOU: Ack! Yes! What are those?
YOUR FRIEND: Those are waves of judgment. Everybody is judging you. This will follow you around for the rest of your life.
YOU: No! I don’t believe you!
[You get hit by a car.]
YOU: Ow! Ow!
YOUR FRIEND: That’s what happens when you don’t read A Bad Day For Voodoo. Bad luck follows you everywhere. Watch out for that circular saw blade.
YOU [quickly ducking]: Aaah! That circular saw blade almost took my head off!
YOUR FRIEND: And you’ll need your head to read A Bad Day For Voodoo! Do you understand now?
[A monkey jumps out of a tree and starts punching you in the neck.]
YOU: I understand! I understand!
YOUR FRIEND: Your coolness meter is running out quickly, but there is still time to replenish it! Run to a bookstore or an internet and buy A Bad Day For Voodoo! Hurry, before it’s too–
[The earth begins to crumble around your feet.]
YOUR FRIEND: Oh no! It’s too late! The world needed your coolness! It’s the only thing that kept us from being all dystopian and stuff!
[Zombies–fast or slow, your choice–show up and start eating people.]
PEOPLE CURRENTLY BEING EATEN [in unison]: Nooooooo!
YOU: What have I done? What have I–
[Suddenly you wake up screaming.]
YOU: It was all a dream! Only a terrible, terrible dream! In fact, the book A Bad Day For Voodoo doesn’t even really exist!
SOMEBODY (YOU’RE NOT SURE WHO): Yes, it does. It’s just not out yet. But it will be in June 2012. And you’d better buy it, or the next time you wake up screaming, Effie Trinket will be drawing your name for tribute.
YOU: Then I shall mark my calendar, or better yet, pre-order a copy of A Bad Day For Voodoo right now!
See? You may think I made all of that up, but I assure you that my only concern is for the safety of the world. And even if you don’t care about the world, you should read about the time that my history teacher Mr. Click falsely accused me of cheating on a test, and my friend Adam got a voodoo doll of him, and I jabbed it with a pin during class, and things went wrong, wrong, wrong!
My girlfriend Kelley, who is smarter than both of us combined, also got caught up in the whole thing, and you will not believe the kind of stuff that happened. It’s crazy! I mean, we ran into this one family who…well, you don’t want spoilers, but it was one messed-up family.
Oh, the book is my completely true story, but the publisher put the name “Jeff Strand” on the cover, because of some sort of ransom demand. Just ignore that.
Okay, so, you know what to do, right? Awesome. See you in June.
Thanks so much to Sourcebooks Fire and Jeff Strand! Be sure to keep an eye out for Part 2 of the tour!
When your best friend is just a tiny bit psychotic, you should never actually believe him when he says, “Trust me. This is gonna be awesome.”
About Jeff Strand:
JEFF STRAND lives in Tampa, Florida, and doesn’t believe in voodoo. But he still thinks you should carry a doll around, go up to people you don’t like, and chuckle while you jab it with pins, just to make them squirm. Poke around his gleefully macabre website at JeffStrand.com.