SUBURBAN MONSTERS is a collection of horror and dark fantasy stories by Christopher Hawkins that explore the sinister and supernatural elements lurking within the seemingly ordinary and mundane suburbs. Across thirteen tales of terror, Hawkins creates haunting, surrealistic narratives exploring themes of isolation, fear, and the unknown.
One of the most disturbing stories in the collection is “Storms of the Present” in which a person who has recently purchased a box of scalpels online prepares to use them to achieve some sort of unspecified—but probably unpleasant—transformation. Once the narrator’s intentions become clear, the journey to the conclusion is absolutely excruciating. “Green Eyes,” another standout story, is about a young girl who gets into a physical altercation with a classmate at school and decides to run away from home rather than face punishment. A harrowing portrait of a child struggling with poverty, abuse, and neglect who acts out as a result. Another memorable entry in the collection is “Moonrise Over Water With Sargassum. 2022. Oil On Canvas.” The story follows a woman named Callie who has gone to the beach with her drunk husband, Paul, to watch the moon rise. Callie has a tumultuous relationship with Paul, who can be violent when he drinks. It’s a situation rife with tension, with a conclusion as unexpected as it is foreboding.
Throughout SUBURBAN MONSTERS, Hawkins employs rich, descriptive prose with vivid and haunting imagery that heightens the sense of tension and unease in the stories, making them all the more immersive and chilling. Whether it’s the fear of the unknown lurking in the woods or within oneself, Hawkins conveys his themes with evocative imagery and a flair for creating an eerie atmosphere. Unsettling and captivating, the collection explores themes of deception, fear, and the unknown, challenging readers to question the dark secrets and hidden motivations of the people around us. The overall effect is chilling and memorable, and the collection is sure to leave a lasting impression on readers.
Each of the stories in SUBURBAN MONSTERS is a masterful exercise in building tension and creating a sense of unease, as author Christopher Hawkins delves into the dark, twisted inner lives of characters who may not be all they seem.
~Edward Sung for IndieReader