DEADMAN’S TOME: MONSTERS EXIST
Edited by Mr. Deadman and Theresa Braun
Released July 7, 2017
Deadman’s Tome Publishing-Special Issue
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis

This a great collection of stories from exceptional writers, including Gary Buller, S.E. Casey, Mr. Deadman, Calvin Demmer, Philip W. Kleaver, and William Marchese. Remember these names! I think we’ll be hearing a lot from them in the future. New, up-and-coming authors are one of the reasons why I enjoy doing reviews! We all enjoy books by established writers because they’re the ones who got us into writing in the first place, right? But, when you read new writing, there is a freshness and extra ferocity. Along with that, modern elements like cell phones, Google, and today’s vehicles make these stories that much more REAL. Anyway, I think you get my point. It’s important to read new writers from smaller presses. If you don’t, you’re missing a lot!

Monsters Exist kicks off in fine style with “Master Vermin” by Wallace Boothill. Sometimes in an eager rush to build new, costly condominiums, a construction company might release something that was better off trapped where it was. In today’s world of quick property flips and house upgrades that happen in the course of a 45-minute TV program, everyone thinks it’s so damn easy. But you can’t just slap a brand new name on something and pretend its history doesn’t exist, unless you want to pay the price.

Gary Buller contributes “Wicked Congregation,” and it is a chiller of a story! Faeries don’t really look or behave like those cute little figurines for sale in gift shops. Especially not the ones in this story! These guys are winged terrors who demand their dues, or the rest of the town will suffer. Either do what’s required or pay the price. By the way, these little dudes don’t want cash. Uh-uh. What they want is flesh and blood human sacrifices that must be alive upon delivery. Well done!

After reading this anthology you may “Never Sleep Again,” the title of Calvin Demmer’s contribution and nightmare-inducing tale. A retired policeman is pulled out of retirement to help a young and very gung-ho officer figure out what is causing strange deaths. All the victims are killed while sleeping, usually on beds. They also are minus their hands and feet. The only clue is a small pile of dirt and the testimony of the retired officer, which everyone scoffs at. What a ridiculous explanation! They think the man is off his rocker when he uses a children’s bedtime song as a clue. Rubbish! But that’s too bad, because the threat is real.

Can a monster offer a solution to some of life’s miseries? In Philip W. Kleaver’s tale, “The Voice From The Bottom Of The Well,” it does. Not that you will think so in the terrifying beginning of the story. A ten-year-old girl is having escalating nightmares about a voice coming from a well hidden in the woods. While outdoors playing, she finds that the well is quite near her home. Not only that, but a voice inside of it keeps telling her how hungry it is. It wants MEAT! She tries asking adults for help, but they tell her that she’s loopy and to grow up! Especially one very unpleasant parent. Perhaps this parent can help after all…

But you’ll have to grab your own copy of Monsters Exist available from Deadman’s Tome Publishing to find out! There’s also a ton more good stories included in this special printing. But grab it fast, before they run out! I definitely encourage you to give this anthology a try and also consider works by the authors included. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go pick up some more meat and hi-protein dog food!

About Brian James Lewis

Brian James Lewis is an emerging published writer and poet who, after spending many years of writing and saving his work for “the right time,” finally arrived after he could no longer do heavy garage work due to spinal injuries. Writing turned the situation into a much better thing than it originally was and has kept Brian from doing anything fun, like driving his car off a bridge. Currently Brian’s poem, “Garage Sense,” can be found on Trajectory Journal’s web page, and his short story, “Finally,” which is about a mentally ill homeless man who shoots a liquor store owner, will be coming out in the Fall issue of The Iconoclast. Besides writing, Brian repairs and uses old typewriters, including his star typewriter: a Royal KMM that was previously owned and used by Rod Serling when he lived on the west side of Binghamton, NY. Even though he loves music and writing, the biggest part of Brian’s heart belongs to his wife, Michelle. They live next door to an abandoned K-Mart with their rescue animals in the industrial city of Endicott, NY. He can be contacted @skullsnflames76 on Twitter, or check out his struggling blog at damagedskullwriterandreviewer.wordpress.com.

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