mesan1024
mesan1024
2024-05-19
Love the atmosphere and it's very inviting
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Madison Lunnen
2024-04-20
I love coming to this store! Good stock of indie and classic horror. It's clear the owners know their stuff. Very friendly! Also, it's very well decorated. And the kids' section is very cute. Definitely recommend!
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I've only had the opportunity to order online, but each order has been a delightful experience. Support this store in confidence!
Dan C
Dan C
2023-12-24
This place is great! Owner is super friendly. We need to appreciate businesses that go whole hog on horror.
Brandy Rainey
Brandy Rainey
2023-12-06
Wonderful selection horror books. My new favorite book store hands down.
Susan Snyder
Susan Snyder
2023-10-18
This store holds a treasure of horror books from non-fiction to children’s books to extreme horror. The owners are absolutely wonderful and welcoming. They have special events as well! You have to check them out!
Cynthia Pelayo
Cynthia Pelayo
2023-10-17
Very cool place! Great owner. Great books. They are super nice and knowledgeable. It’s very family friendly here. Just fair warning, The owner likes to dress like his dog. So, you may see him dressed in a dog suit from time to time,
Ghoulish Art Ghoulish Books News

THE FLESH INHERENT – Cover Reveal & Excerpt

Hello, cowghouls! It is with great pleasure that I finally introduce you to Perry Meester’s debut novella, The Flesh Inherent, a gay cowboy western bursting with delightful body horror grotesqueries. First, I want to show you the front cover, courtesy of the one and only DOOMED SARCOMA:

On a hot summer night, something enormous screams down from the sky and pierces into the desert not far from the small town of Farchapel. The stories that trickle back from the crater are strange indeed—those who find it and return claim to be forever changed, transformed into the better, ideal versions of themselves they’ve always wished to achieve.

Jamie, recent mysterious visitor in town, is a man on the run, all too eager to escape his current form no matter the cost. Sidney, local drunk, would rather face a hole in the ground than the things he’s done. As the two men venture into the desert canyons in search of their better selves, they soon discover that what hides there is much more terrible—and eager to lure them in.

Folks, can we get a big fuckin’ yee-haw?

YEE-HAW

Here is what Perry Meester had to say about The Flesh Inherent:

This book is a snapshot of a very specific time in my life. My world was getting brighter and clearer and more terrifying all at once, and writing The Flesh Inherent was a place to funnel that nervous energy. I was starting to figure out what kind of a man I wanted to be — so I was looking at the men in my life and the men I grew up watching and reading, wrapping my head around what I loved about them and what scared me, what I wanted to do differently. I’ve never written a Western before, but falling into that genre came naturally out of all those thoughts. I grew up watching old Western films with my dad, and the particular models of masculinity you’d find there were fascinating to me even before I had words for why. Of course, I had to put a nasty horror spin on it to make it mine.

It’s not exclusively a “trans story” — though it certainly is in parts. First and foremost I wanted to write the kind of messed-up horror I want to see in the world, something tight and gross and horny in a genre mash-up I hadn’t explored before. It’s a little bit of a love letter to the body horror stories that inspire me, and to the queer men and trans folks I’ve been lucky to have around me so far.

Perry’s novella drops on September 10th through Ghoulish Books, and you can pre-order it from our webstore right now. All paperback pre-orders will come with a signed bookplate sticker from the author.

And now, here’s the opening chapter of The Flesh Inherent:


I.

Somewhere past midnight on August the 5th, three things happen in the tiny town of Farchapel: a stranger leans out a window and envies the brawl collapsing onto the street below, one man shoots another dead, and something falls from the sky.

The third event stops the first two in their tracks. It sends the stranger scrambling in a panic, lurching backward until he trips onto the bed and lies there heaving, hands over his ears. It gives the owner of the smoking revolver enough time to escape a crowd moments from becoming a mob, his indiscretions temporarily forgotten in the wake of a screaming howl that splits the night apart. The noise goes quick, but it leaves behind an arcing scar of violet light that takes hours to fade. By morning the news tells itself: something fell from heaven, something large, and judging by the rumbling in the ground, it must have landed somewhere in the desert. Somewhere nearby.

Very little worth telling happens in Farchapel. A stranger coming into town and a shooting occurring on the same day is bad enough. But something huge and dark hurtling down to earth like God kicked it, well, that’s enough to terrify, titillate, and inspire in equal measure.

By noon, public curiosity is a thing with teeth, eager to bite down. Three of the sheriff’s men — one of them his pimple-faced son, just old enough to be counted a man at all — saddle up and ride out toward the rocky slopes and winding canyon to the east. Folks watch until men and horses alike are lost to the red and orange outcroppings and brittle plant life that pockmark the landscape. Over the next three days they hold a funeral, a questioning, an extra church service. They watch the road and the skies in equal measure.

Over the next three days, a stranger paces back and forth in his room, back and forth down the streets, runs his finger back and forth across cool drops of liquid forming on the outside of unfinished glasses of beer while he lurks and listens. Over the next three days, an empty revolver gathers dust while its owner waits for a noose, a bullet, bare fists, and finds nothing but the bottoms of bottles.

At sunset on the third day the sheriff’s son walks back into Farchapel on foot. He is as clean and spotless as the day he left. His shirt is tucked into his pants. His hair is combed. His companions are nowhere to be seen. Once they’ve sat him down and forced food and water into him, he looks them in the eyes and shakes his head, and they discover that is voice is nowhere to be heard, either, only a soundless rasp coming from his healthy throat. All he can manage is a tuneless whistle.

When pen and paper is fetched he writes nothing about the missing men — all he has is a shake of his head and a shrug, the sense that he’s walking circles around every question they can ask. What he does write is direct in a way the boy has never been: he tells his father straight that he’s always hated it here, that he’s always hated him, that he won’t be pushed around anymore, that he’s going to be his own man.

The sheriff’s son has always been quiet. He’s the type to flinch when spoken to and buries his nose behind a book far more often than his father would prefer. Against the good sheriff’s best efforts he’s never been fit for a town like Farchapel. Now he walks with his head held high and his shoulders back. He ignores questions on the street. He gathers every penny he’s ever saved and spends it on a horse and supplies for the road. He writes to Ms. Lillie who works down at the general store that he’s always thought she’s mighty pretty, and he writes to his father that he’s headed north to go to college like he’s always wanted, and the morning after returning from the canyon, he takes off, whistling the whole while.

A rescue party is sent after the rest of the sheriff’s men. No one returns but their horses, still tacked up, eyes rolling back in their heads, necks flecked with foam. They wail and scream through the night, not a scratch on them, until a consensus is drawn and they’re put out of their misery.

The night sky is clear and silent as ever, conceding nothing.

The next day: Old Mrs. Marshe is missing. She’s snuck away in the dead of night, on foot, no less. She’s known for slipping candies to children after Sunday services and humming little ditties as she goes about her errands. She’s known as much for her superstitions: a cross on every wall in her home, a prayer over every meal. When the sky screamed she watched with a rosary clutched to her chest. Her absence is noted first by her husband, a man of notorious temper, the town’s resident drunkard and layabout. His primary complaint is missing her cooking.

A second and more hesitant party finds Mrs. Marshe halfway back from the canyon two days later. She hobbles homeward on her familiar walking stick, and greets them cheerfully, uninjured and well. She blesses them for coming to get her while regaling them with the intimate details of her nice, long walk. She prays for each of their souls in turn. When the sheriff arrives at her doorstep the next morning to see how she’s getting on, he finds the dead body of her husband of twenty-five years slouched in a kitchen chair and Mrs. Marshe cleaning the floor around him. A fist-sized purple bruise swells her eye shut.

He hit her, she says. He hit her again, for running away, and she’d had the last of that, thank you. Twenty-five years and she’d had enough. Stabbed him once in the chest for each of those years, the blade punched through wrinkled skin with miraculous strength.

No one much has it in them to hang or jail or whip old Mrs. Marshe. A few parties would go so far as to commend her for it. She’s back in church the next morning, belting out hymns, and afterward when the first hesitant voice asks her what happened in the desert she’s more than happy to testify.

“It’s God out there, it’s God who sent it,” she creaks, shaking her finger at her rapt audience. Her voice has gotten lower, more graveled, like sandstone scraping against leather. “It’s made me the woman I always wanted to be, I’ll tell you that, that’s what it’s done. God’s given me the courage now. Transformed me body and soul.” For good measure she picks a branch off the ground and snaps it in two, with hands that used to shake uncontrollably.

In a town like Farchapel, rumors have traveled far further on far less.

The sheriff forbids anyone to venture out toward the canyon and what lies there. Old Mrs. Marshe continues to prosthelytize. No more rescue parties are sent out. Their families mourn them quietly.

Hours before dawn, eight days after something fell, two individuals on two separate sides of town drag themselves from sleep — one on a still-unfamiliar rented mattress, the other curled on an all-too-familiar kitchen floor. They button up shirts, pull on boots and hats, whisper sleep-fogged words to restless mounts. In the minutes before their paths cross each fancies himself the only man in the world, alone on the single wide street that makes up the majority of town, the sky a deep hazy blue above him. It’s only him, the comfortable lurching of the animal beneath him, the smell of leather, the dew in the air. It’s only the sharp twang of nerves and the thick layer of sleep across his thoughts.

It’s only him, until he reaches the outskirts of town, where a bare attempt at civilization makes way for endless plateaus and scrub-brush and the canyon in the distance. It’s only him until another horse whickers nearby.

It’s only him, until it isn’t.


Pre-order The Flesh Inherent.

Don’t forget to also track it on Goodreads.

Additionally, Perry’s debut short story “Swerve” will be published soon in Ghoulish Tales Issue #3, which you can pre-order here.

 

 

Max Booth III

Max Booth III is a writer, publisher, editor, podcaster, and indie bookstore owner. They are the author of numerous works, including I Believe in Mister Bones, Abnormal Statistics, Maggots Screaming!, Touch the Night, and many others too spooky to name here. Their novella, We Need to Do Something, was adapted into a feature film from their own screenplay and distributed by IFC Midnight in 2021 after debuting at the Tribeca Film Festival. They co-run Ghoulish Books, a publisher/bookstore hybrid, with their wife Lori Michelle Booth. Born and raised in Northwest Indiana, they now live in San Antonio, TX. Find their work at www.TalesFromTheBooth.com.

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