|“Nightmares are commonplace in my profession…”
Alone in a crumbling manor, an aging undertaker recounts a horrifying episode from the early days of his career.
When an unspeakable monster trespasses the border between life and death, the undertaker finds himself in a fierce struggle to save the village he has sworn to serve — even if it means sacrificing his own family and faith in the process.
From the reviews…
“Camp’s storytelling is at times reminiscent of the great macabre masters such as Poe, creating a mythology that is both philosophically engaging and original. This book is a poetic outlier, and transcends many of the trite conventions found in so many of its contemporary monster or horror genre counterparts with deeper themes including explorations of love, faith, and alienation.”
“This story is more haunting, and I have many questions for the author that I hope will be answered in later books. The idea of solitude in a small town is not completely lost on me, and the fact of this story taking place in the past, perhaps the far past, is something that really draws my attention. Hooray for T.M. Camp! Please write more for us to read and listen to.”
“Told in the first person, it hints and suggests the evil to come, letting you gather the evidence for the ending of the tale. I thought this well written. Mr. Camp is able to evoke good pictures in your mind with his words. The story and the characters were intriguing.”
“I’m highly impressed with the writing… You can see that he has a confidence in his own writing… I would read another book by this author without question. The level is very high.”
Today’s my grandfather’s birthday. He would have been 106 years old. I don’t have a lot of memories of him. We moved away when I was very young and I only saw him a handful of times after that. But the memories I do have are special.
I wrote this a few years back. For what it’s worth, you can see the bowl of grapes in the photo…
A plastic bowl of grapes.
The dusty, almost-black globes
polished by our fingertips.
The tart snap of the skin between my teeth.
He teaches me to spit out the seeds,
the stones bitter on the tip of my tongue.
Wrestling old Smoky to the ground,
he bites the dog’s ears, both of them growling.
I watch, I laugh,
wondering if he will get fleas.
The rigid line of his dentures,
sticking them out at us when no one was looking.
Laughing, terrified by the sudden appearance
of that slick pink plastic, the crown of his teeth.
The walking sticks, later the canes
by the door.
The carved one, the snake’s head
poised to strike.
Wrestling him to the shag carpet
in my aunt’s apartment.
Two year old champion, I pin him down
and I strike.
My mother flares with anger: “Don’t you hit my daddy.”
the stiff movement of home movies.
Memories, stories told around the family, heirlooms.
So little I can claim for my own.
His voice, surprisingly high.
Rusty, wavering and punctuated
by strange, inarticulate sounds
like a crow in flight.
Surprising myself with tears,
when I introduced my wife to him.
She in black, long hair pulled back.
He already under his stone, so long.