“Dad, does this girl have blood all over her head under that cloth stuff?”
Gavin was holding my copy of The Shadows of Blackout Island and asked if it was a scary book. I told him a little about it and he asked me to read my story, The Stump Maker, to him.
I’ve been reading a few pages a day, out loud, to Gavin. He’s five. It’s a bit much (possibly) for a five-year-old, but he loves it! He’s asking questions about who Mr. Wilson is and what happened to his son. He’s asking if the Stump Maker is in the woods watching the boys camping overnight. He even asked about the Raven! (I have a thing for Ravens.)
I haven’t gotten to the really creepy part yet. lol. Seriously though, if he asks me to stop reading, that’ll be that. We’ll see how it goes today!
This prompted me to view the amazon listing. Here’s a review:
“A Great Adventure!
I’ve never been one to read books of this nature but I purchased because I am such a fan of the writing of one of the authors in particular (M Taggart). I have read much of his poetry and short stories in the past and always enjoy his creativity.
Aside from his contribution the book is a nice read that pulled me in from the beginning and turning pages one after the other. If you want to get sucked into a moment that you are reading and feel like you are a part of it than this book is for you. I know you will enjoy it like I did. I plan to gift this book to a few folks as well. Enjoy!” -Lori
Edited by Tara Caribou. And I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but Tara is crushing it with the books that she is editing and publishing.
For those of you who love reading, it’s go-time! The Shadows of Blackout Island is a horror anthology.
The Stump Maker: Three young teenagers agree to camp near a remote lake. As their fire grows, darkness creeps in, and with it, something else. The forgotten legend of The Stump Maker has been awoken.
This is a great read! Grab the paperback or kindle edition here-
The Stump Maker Written by -M. Taggart
Tim leaned back against a large pine. It was dusk. Derek made a circle with large stones to build the fire pit. He even tossed small rocks into the bottom so the air could flow more freely from underneath to feed the fire. The flames grew higher and flickered eastward as the wind picked up.
“That’s going good,” Brian said as he dumped an armload of wood a few feet from the fire. “Should be enough to last. Are we really going to do this?”
“Course,” replied Tim.
“I don’t see much stopping, Tim, do you?”
“No. I guess not. It’s all probably nothing anyway.”
“It’s nothing and if it isn’t nothing, I don’t much care, after what I’ve seen.”
“I know, Tim. I get it. We don’t need to go over all of that again.”
“Why not? It was my father it happened to. I’m not like other people. I’d rather talk about it than hide from it.”
“We’re going to need more wood than that. I put rocks at the bottom. This fire will burn through that wood in an hour.”
“We can all get more wood in a half-hour. I want to hear the story again about Mr. Wilson,” Tim said. “Brian, tell us what your mother said again. We’ve all heard things, but nothing like what your mother said. She reads all those books.”
Brian’s cheeks were flushed. Not from embarrassment, but with excitement. He liked telling stories. “I’ll tell you what she told me again. All of it.”
Derek sat on a stump near the fire and Tim leaned further into the pine tree while thumbing the top of his pocket knife.
“She said Mr. Wilson lost his only son in the lake. That part, we knew. She said that most of the land surrounding the lake was Wilson’s and that he and his son would fly fish for trout in a canoe. She said they would also hunt and walk over nearly every inch of the land they owned. One day, his son went fishing alone and didn’t come back.”
“I heard he drowned,” said Derek. “Did he tip and fall into the lake and not know how to swim? How could that happen if he was constantly on the land with his father and learning how to hunt and fish.”
“Yea. That doesn’t seem right to me either.”
“Guys, that’s just it. No one knows what happened. He didn’t come back and they said it happened in the lake. But Mr. Wilson went nuts after his son disappeared. They never found the body. My mother told me that Mr. Wilson blamed the power company for putting the dam in at the foot of the lake. They wanted to make hydroelectricity, but never did. So that’s why the dam is at the foot of the lake to control the flow of the water that runs into the Acton River. Streams feed into the lake and the water has to go somewhere so the power company wanted to use the water to make electricity and Mr. Wilson fought with them about it. My mother said that the power company wanted this location because of the natural geography of the slope where they placed the dam. The land drops down, making it easy for them to build the dam with the pumps underneath to open and close the gates. Anyway, that’s why that dam is at the foot of the lake and that’s why there’s a tunnel that runs under the dam… You’re going to do it, right, Tim?”
“I already told you I’m going to do it.”
“I know. I just needed to ask.”
“Keep asking and I’ll talk about my Dad and how I found him in these woods.”
The fire cracked loudly. Somewhere near a raven screeched. Dusk was a bit darker and traveling closer to night. Tim didn’t take his eyes off of Brian. Derek watched both of them.
Derek liked Tim. Liked how he was stronger now even after he lost his father. He liked about how Tim could lean against a tree and make it look comfortable, as though everyone should try to lean against a tree and be comfortable. But, he knew if he tried, it wouldn’t be that way. He watched as Brian looked at his boots, the small moment was over, but he saw it. Brian was good too, not as tough as Tim, but that didn’t matter.
Release date 12/12/20 The Shadows of Blackout Island, Edited by Tara Caribou Horror Anthology My short story, The Stump Maker, is within these pages.
2020 has been a challenge for many. Having lost my father in October, I gave little effort to submitting or writing anything of substance. The one bright light has been this upcoming publication. Working with Tara was a needed uplift for me personally. Thank you, Tara. https://taracaribou.com/published-works/
And seriously…look at this cover! I’ll post a few teasers as we get closer to the release. (along with the link to purchase when that’s avaliable.)