Can two kids alone stop a monstrous evil?
Women and children have been mysteriously disappearing from Evan’s town. And now Evan may know why. He was climbing a tree in the woods when he saw a decrepit old man toss a helpless woman into the mouth of a hideous tree-like creature.
Evan knows he can’t stop the man and the creature by himself, but he also knows no one will believe a kid with such a wild story. Only his best friend, Peter, can help him confront this terrifying evil. But if they aren’t careful, they will soon be missing too.
Horror author David Bernstein starts off 2014 on a strong note with his latest offering, The Tree Man, a new novella-length fiction offering from Samhain. Our story begins with a strange old man who is dragging the body of a screaming woman into the woods. Watching all of this unfold is a young boy, Evan. Soon enough, Evan witnesses things that no 13 year-old should, including a strange tree creature that eats humans. Evan has no doubt that this old man is the bad guy, some kind of sorcerer or conjurer. We switch to the old man’s point of view and learn that there’s a specific reason why he feeds this particular tree monster, and that appearances can be deceiving.
Back at home, Evan is grateful to be away from what he’s just witnessed, but it doesn’t take long before he gets his best friend, Pete, mixed up in what the old man is doing. That turns out to have more devastating consequences than either one of them could imagine. What’s worse is that just as Evan thinks he’s on the right track, he finds out that he could not be more wrong about the entire situation, but sadly for him, he realizes the truth too late.
It’s a creative tale from Bernstein, who uses some inventive magic and world-building elements to establish the mythos here. The Tree Man is a short, punchy and enjoyable tale from Bernstein that his fans should definitely eat up.