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In the foul and fetid darkness, it awakens. Vile, unstable, brimming with ill intent, like pus on the verge of eruption. Repulsive to gaze upon and even more disturbing to comprehend. It reaches out and discovers that the others—its siblings—have abandoned this cancerous womb long ago. Angry and alone, it thrashes violently…tearing, clawing its way from dormancy into daylight…and onto the dark playground of your bookshelf. Amid these pages, Southern horror master Ronald Kelly has brought together a loathsome assemblage of stories that cut deeply and expose the raw nerves of fright and revulsion. Joining his extreme horror collections, The Sick Stuff and More Sick Stuff, is a third installment of yarns both new and old…Even Sicker Stuff. Combined, they meld and morph, forming The Essential Sick Stuff. Twenty-three abhorrent tales to tantalize and torture the fragile psyche; to cause the stomach to revolt and gooseflesh to crawl as though something, visceral and alive, lurks just beneath the surface...