A weird boy becomes very twisted while growing up and conducts Frankensteinish experiments on those around him. Chills, suspense, obsession and dark humor await in this novelette by Lori R. Lopez.
Dwayne Mumsby doesn’t want to be normal. He sees himself as a monster and wants to do odd things. One portentous Halloween night, he invites the woman he secretly loves to his creepy Victorian house, where things get even stranger. In fact, some things are better left in the closet. Told with poetic prose, this is a horror tale you won’t be able to put down. Except to check that your doors and windows are locked. And there’s nothing under the bed. Just forget about the closet! And the next time you see a dentist . . . do not open wide! WARNING: Some content may be disturbing to sensitive readers.
Look for the author’s horror collection Unhallowed, containing Monstrosities!
E-Book: 11,522 Words
Age Range: 14 and up.
Dwayne’s parents obliterated whatever good he had been born with. His peers warped what remained into an unrecognizable travesty, disfigured on the inside. Trampled was the innocent child who hopped on autumn leaves for the crackle. Traced Smileys upon foggy windows with a finger. Captured snowflakes to melt on his tongue.
~ from Monstrosities
One had rung the bell while his accomplices cowered on a flight of steps. Normally these daunted youths avoided the Mummy House. Tonight they had goaded themselves into a reckless albeit bold exploit.
~ from Monstrosities
When Dwayne Mumsby was a little boy, he wanted to be an astronaut. One day his father took him onto the roof and taught him about gravity by flinging him off. Unfortunately, the house was a double-story Victorian. As he lay contused on the grass, his left leg shattered, his dad made a speech that Dwayne would hear repeated at various intervals of his life: “The sky’s the limit for people like us and the sooner you accept your limitations, the smarter you’ll be. Only a fool dreams awake, and I don’t intend to raise a halfwit son!”
Because his parents neglected to take him to a doctor till he was near death from infection, Dwayne lost the leg that broke his fall and had to wear a cheap prosthetic replacement from the knee down. His father said it was Dwayne’s fault for having “airs of grandeur”. His mother said nothing as usual, afraid of her husband’s disapproval.
Dwayne would be called a lot of names like Gimp and Stubby and Stump and Pegleg Pete. The boy would be chased and beaten up, unable to outrun his tormentors, then come home to face the worst bully of all.
“I have no idea what the author was thinking when she wrote this. Even in my worst nightmares in high school — when I felt insecure, shamed or put upon — I never dreamed of resorting to the kinds of monstrosities she subjects Dwayne Mumsby to. And then to bring another tortured soul into the situation… Honestly, has this author no conscience?
If you choose to read this — and I suggest you do — be careful. The dark places you’ll go do not yield easily to light. And when they do, you will wish you hadn’t looked deeper.”
Steven Ramirez, “Author and Screenwriter”
“Lori R. Lopez has written a book of monstrous proportions, entering Jack Ketchum territory with the confidence of a skilled writer.
Lori Channels Jack Ketchum with Remarkable Success . . . Speak of the devil. The dark narrator that Lori softened for Cereal Box Surprise is in full force here in Monstrosities. She explores the nature/nurture effect of evil inherent in the environment as opposed to being born with a dark side. The opening lines are possibly the most horrific I’ve read in some time: “When Dwayne Mumsby was a little boy, he wanted to be an astronaut. One day his father took him onto the roof and taught him about gravity by flinging him off [the two-story Victorian House].” Young Dwayne loses a leg, and his mind. And so the story begins. Lori has written her darkest piece to date. As entertaining, for horror fans, as it is morbidly fascinating. May I add to the caution to sensitive readers: Not for the squeamish.”
SERVANTE OF DARKNESS; Amazon Review
“Once again Lori Lopez has used her words to take my imagination to its limits.
When I first started reading this novelette I was no where near prepared for the amazement and horror that lies within.
Dewayne’s father had no idea of the monster he was creating with his hate and abuse. The wrath that Dewayne inflicted on not only his parents but on anyone he can get his claws on.
When Dewayne decides he is ready to take a bride the story takes a drastic change. This you will have to read for yourself.
This is the darkest story Lori has written and I love it.
I recommend this to all fans of horror or suspense.”
“This was a great read. Horror fans will love this gory and amusing tale. There’s a bit of everything here, revenge, experiments, blood and love. It has a fine twist, Lori Lopez caught me with that one. You will not be disappointed with this read.”
Jackie G Williams
“The horror films of old follow a canon of circumstances. This story also complies with the old school horror story. Very much worth a read!”
About The Author & Artist
Growing up, Lori R. Lopez enjoyed roaming the streets in a cat costume every October Thirty-First. She had to wear the same outfit because it was still “good”. Nowadays she dresses up as she pleases, usually in hats, seldom as a cat because it might scare the real ones. Unlike cats, she has an aversion to naps and always did, even when small. Like cats, getting wet is nowhere on the list of her favorite things, yet conversely she does love rainy days. Lori used the name of her semi-feral cat Midnight for the main character in Unleashed. But that’s another story.
Monstrosities was composed with a toy dog in mind that she had as a child. It walked and barked and its eyes lit up. The leash was an electric cord. This was all very odd since Lori had a real dog to take for daily walks, or perhaps it was the other way around and the dog walked her. She was never quite clear about what was going on, especially if she happened to be wearing rollerskates. The kind you would fasten to your shoes with a key . . . if you lived way back when. (For once, I am not making this up!) On a sunshiny afternoon, she and her dog (probably the real pooch) found a fossil but she didn’t take it home. They looked and looked and couldn’t find it the next day, so Lori learned a valuable lesson about not leaving fossils lying about, and leaving no stone unturned when looking for a lost fish in a stone. Or something like that. And always check your Halloween candy for fossils, but don’t throw them away. You shouldn’t eat them either. Save them carefully on your shelf, because one day you too will be a fossil and how would you feel being left on the floor? Eventually all good things become petrified if you wait long enough, including parallelograms. That might be just a theory. I haven’t actually seen a petrified parallelogram, but it sounds like fun.
Lori plans to keep writing Halloween tales until the Great Pumpkin in the sky falls down and squashes her flat like a boulder. That will teach her for being too sedentary and not practicing her Hundred Yard Boulder Dash. It would also be excellent research for a sequel to her yarn “Under A Rock”. But that’s another story too, just like this story. On second thought, it isn’t similar at all and she hopes you’ve enjoyed it. Not too much because, like Halloween candy, too much isn’t good for you. Or good for what ails you. She can’t be sure, and neither should you.