The Screaming Tree by Patrick C. Harrison III
As impending death approaches, Frank Waters has a story to share about the evil growing in Twin Oaks, Texas. But these wicked roots stretch further than Frank understands, and the screaming tree is more powerful than he can imagine.
Loved this story, unique concept and great delivery. A solid 4 stars
Fear the Forest
This story is intense but unlike the synopsis suggests it's actually from the point of view of Hank. At the beginning you are not sure what route this story will take, but as Hank takes Santiago down to the Rollings Woods, to find the hidden nightmare in the dark depths of the woods. I mean Jesus, it's like Patrick has thought of every possible way to make a tree horrifying?! The trek into the woods, the lingering curiosity around why Hank was dragging Santi out here? Not to mention the eerie atmosphere he creates as we get deeper into the darkness. Then there's Hank, the poor guy who has known nothing but trauma thanks to this bloody tree (pun intended) now he's dying of cancer. The look back in time that we take to truly understand his disdain is brilliantly crafted for a backstory. Patrick weaves into one story the town's history, Sunnydale-inspired death rates, and deep character development. The suspense and tension the reader feels when they finally reach the tree? The description of this sentient nightmare tree will make you think twice about walking at night in the forest. It's a very creative take on a small-town myth trope, with more extreme horror aspects that almost mirror the start of the Damnation Game for shock value. I kinda wanted more though, like who were the people protecting the tree, what is the origin story of the screaming tree? Are there more in other towns? I definitely think this has the potential to go bigger, maybe something in the form of a novella. (wink, wink) but all in all an excellent read!
You better listen to the screams…
THE SCREAMING TREE by Patrick C. Harrison III Hank and Santiago take a trip to the middle of nowhere in order for Santiago to learn his new obligation. Santiago must come to terms with the bloody history of Twin Oaks if he is going to be a successor. But sometimes, nature calls. (*snort*) Creepy, kinda scary, and filled with vivid imagery, PC3 has a winner in this short story. HIGHLY RECOMMEND 10/5.
I live in the country, and every spring some little weed comes up out of the ground that I've never seen before. After reading The Screaming Tree, I am going to be hard-pressed not to burn everything to the ground the next time some evil little godless form of plant life pokes its head to the sky. This is another great offering from Patrick C. Harrison, extremely well-written, tense and emotional, with some nice gory passages we've come to expect from PCH3. Nicely told in present and past tense, it kept me reading straight through to the end, even despite the unsettling distractions of all those screams in the distance.