Out Behind The Barn: John Boden & Chad Lutzke
Reviewed by D.K. Hundt
Chad Lutzke has written for Famous Monsters of Filmland, Rue Morgue, Cemetery Dance, and Scream magazine. He’s had a few dozen stories published, and some of his books include: Of Foster Homes & Flies, Wallflower, Stirring the Sheets, Skullface Boy, and the novella featured in this review, Out Behind the Barn, co-written with John Boden. Baker by day, Boden spends his off-time writing, working on Shock Totem, or watching M*A*S*H re-runs. His work has appeared in Borderlands 6, Shock Totem, Splatterpunk, Lamplight, Blight Digest, the John Skipp edited Psychos and others. His other books include Dominoes, Jedi Summer with the Magnetic Kid, and Detritus in Love.
A novella I won’t soon forget, Out Behind The Barn is about an older woman named Maggie, or Miss Maggie as her two young boys, Davey and Ronny, call her. It’s summertime on the farm, hot days spent doing chores, climbing trees, and nights filled with the works of ‘Poe, Bradbury, and the occasional Brothers Grimm tale were the customary’ bedtime stories. Life on the farm is most definitely different and special to the boys and Miss Maggie, and to reveal any more would be spoiling the plot entirely. I can tell you that Out Behind The Barn is the first book I’ve read by Lutzke and Boden, the title and cover art fits the narrative perfectly and is what sparked my interest in reading this well-crafted heartwarming and heartbreaking story by two authors told in one seamless voice. I have nothing but praise for this book; the authors created characters that I found myself genuinely caring for, and even at one point, feeling empathy for the antagonist. As you read this novella, you will note the themes of family, love, loss, and experience, as I did, a nagging curiosity as to what exactly goes on Out Behind The Barn.
If my review or the synopsis of Out Behind The Barn sparked your interest, then, by all means, take a bite and delve into the creative minds of the authors – you may be surprised by what you find lurking within.
The boys crept to the window and watched as Miss Maggie carried the long bundle into the barn, the weight of it stooping her aging back. Rafter lights spilled from the barn doors, and Davey saw an arm fall from the canvas-wrapped parcel. He smiled.
D. K. Hundt is an American writer with a BA degree in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University. When she’s not writing contemporary fiction and horror/supernatural stories, she likes to spend her free time working as a volunteer in her community, being a minion for her cat Simon, warding off carnivorous spiders, and throwing herself into and around the dark alleyways of Stephen King novels in search of inspiration. D. K. resides in California with her husband, and she is currently working on a horror novel titled, Cheveyo–a story about a young boy who goes to live with his grandpa on a reservation, and soon discovers that the malevolent creatures that lurk in the Okanogan Forest aren’t the only deadly secret the locals are hiding.
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