Monsters in Appalachia
by Sheryl Monks
The characters within these fifteen stories are in one way or another staring into the abyss. While some are awaiting redemption, others are fully complicit in their own undoing.
We come upon them in the mountains of West Virginia, in the backyards of rural North Carolina, and at tourist traps along Route 66, where they smolder with hidden desires and struggle to resist the temptations that plague them.
A Melungeon woman has killed her abusive husband and drives by the home of her son’s new foster family, hoping to lure the boy back. An elderly couple witnesses the end-times and is forced to hunt monsters if they hope to survive. A young girl “tanning and manning” with her mother and aunt resists being indoctrinated by their ideas about men. A preacher’s daughter follows in the footsteps of her backsliding mother as she seduces a man who looks a lot like the devil. Two textile workers fearing their jobs will be outsourced consider joining the low-lifes they’ve heard about who draw nice big government checks. A new coal miner gets tangled up in the 4160 running overhead.
From gritty realism to the gothic, surreal and sometimes humorous, Monsters in Appalachia plumbs the hearts of a haunted landscape.