The Forest Is Hungry by Christopher Stanley
A sick daughter, a father’s race against time to find the one thing that might save her and a mysterious tree growing through the kitchen floor…
Author Christopher Stanley on writing ‘The Forest Is Hungry’: “Quite often my stories come from several different places. In this one, the walk at the beginning, where the parents are separated from their child, is a walk I’ve done a number of times with my own family. My sister moved into a big new house and she told me about some of the conversations she had had with the site foreman. And we have a family friend who cuts our trees for us. All of these things happened around the same time and – bang! – there’s the story!”
This is the third offering I've read in Demain Publishing's Short Sharp Shocks and now I'm hooked. This time I've read, The Forest is Hungry by Christopher Stanley. It's a really vicious folk horror tale of a family torn apart through separation trying to survive
The story starts with every parents worst nightmare, a child goes missing in the woods. for centuries we've been told the dark folk tales that warn about the perils of babes in the woods and this modern version is no different.
After taking his only child, Becca, to the woods, outside his home, Richard realises something is amiss. Afterwards she speaks only in strange riddles and then the trees start moving in. It's not just him and his family that is being targeted it's everyone in his street.
The Forest is hungry.
I loved this tale, it starts off with a bang and just keeps gathering pace. It's hard to say much without giving spoilers only that its a really creepy story that won't fail to disapoint even the most hardened horror fan.
I like to think that this story exists in the same forest as Kev Harrison's Cinders of a Blind Man Who Could See, also released by Demain Publishing. Both stories are set around an ancient woodland that has stood for centuries and will stand for centuries after the last human has walked the earth. Maybe its the powerful forces within that keep this forest untouched.