S0203 The Twisted Wood by Tony Walker



The Twisted Wood

Well, it's the anniversary of the Podcast! The first episode The Yellow Wallpaper went up a year ago, and what a year it has been. The Podcast has succeeded far more than I ever thought. When I started I just wanted to read the stories I enjoyed. It seems that others enjoy them too.

We have also done some stories by living writers, so here's another. It's mine! This is the first story I've ever put up on the Podcast, and I'm doing it because it's the Podcast's first birthday. Happy Birthday, my friend!

The Twisted Wood is in my new collection Horror Stories for Halloween. Originally, it was going to be a story about the Mothman, but though it contains moths it got rather twisted and turned into a dark fairytale about a conceited community arts manager who is tempted to do a little stealing.

We all know you shouldn't steal from the fairies, and we know even better than you must never ever take anything from fairyland.

It ends with a bit of cannibalism, and I am struck that a number of the stories in Horror Stories for Halloween have a cannibalistic turn. What does that say about me?

The setting is drawn on an actual wood and the floods are those floods which hit my home area over the past decade and flooded me out of house and home not once but twice. I was once flooded out in Wales, so that's three times. And the third time is the charm, as they say.

I was fired by a community arts manager when I was struggling to feed my small children on the basis I didn't "think like we do" which I swear was the reason they fired me. They know who they are. That's over fifteen years ago now, but I've paid him back in a story.

This is one of my favourite stories. I allowed myself to go overboard with ornate language because I thought someone as pompous as his would use overblown language. The truth is I like it too. I've just read a Ray Russell story for the Podcast after all.

So, if you liked my dark fairytale of someone getting their come uppence, check out my Newcastle Fairies which is somewhere around.

I hope you liked my story. I enjoyed writing it, and reading it out!

See you next week.

PS Please share if you did like it!

PPS Please buy my book!

PPPS Send people to tonywalker.substack.com

Music by The Heartwood Institute!