Toilet Zone cover shot


HellBound Books
Compiled & Edited by Bret McCormick
August 16, 2019
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis

This hot new anthology from HellBound Books was born from a great idea from the fertile mind of Bret McCormick. It’s like this; The folks reading this review are most likely to be what Stephen King calls “constant readers.” Let me shake you firmly by the hand…in spirit anyway! We take books everywhere, whether in physical form or loaded into an electronic device. That’s us, at Taco Bell: Burrito in one hand, book in the other! We read in waiting rooms and on public transportation because it makes the time go faster in an enjoyable fashion, right? That includes the one room we’re obligated to sit in for 10-15 mins per day to take care of business. Even people who aren’t big readers like a diversion in there. What to do?

Enter The Toilet Zone-32 short horror tales best read over water” from HellBound Books! Bathroom boredom will be a thing of the past when you’re reading really awesome short horror stories in there. Some of the tales included, such as Junkie by Anthony Crinella or The Rambler by Steve Simpson might just scare the shit right out of you! Ha! This fun and frightening volume bears cover artwork that references Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone and if you say both titles fast, there’s a definite similarity! But The Toilet Zone is more than just a silly spoof, so stay seated and let’s continue.

That You, Coughlin? By Christopher Brinn takes us to an Oklahoma Territory town in the year 1883. Something strange is happening in Father Bud’s parish. Gunslingers he’s burying in the little cemetery behind the church aren’t staying dead. Is he really burying them more than once? When he asks the creepy Mr. Coughlin, who makes all the coffins for the dead, Father Bud finds out some things he wishes he didn’t know. Will good triumph over evil or will the victor be someone with no connections to the lord?

I don’t know about you, but all the medical technology we have in these modern times is kind of frightening. Just listen to those ads on TV about the latest pharmaceutical miracles! “Dinkzingle 720 EX can relieve your pain and build new muscle fibers!” Great, but it can also destroy the majority of your brain cells, resulting in loss of vision and major anal leakage. Eeeg! The choices aren’t quite so easy then, are they? The main character of James Pyles’ story Retired is an elderly woman who’s undergone a special operation in order to get her brain back on track. While the surgery has been somewhat successful, Leslie’s recovery is not going quite as smoothly. There are vivid memories seeping into her dreams, causing her to behave in ways that the average eighty-year-old doesn’t. Why does she have man hands? Thoughts of campfires that cook up some unique meals? Her son is concerned, but then his mother takes control over her assets and starts doing things by herself. Leslie’s doctor says that means she’s getting better, but is he right?

Want something cool and modern to read? Then try Alan Beauvais’s story SMS which is constructed entirely of text messages. Kat is texting her boyfriend about something strange happening while she’s home alone, but Will jokes with her. However, as the texts continue, it becomes obvious that she’s not joking or being flirty. Can Will solve the mystery before any real harm comes to them? Grab a copy of The Toilet Zone today and find out!

So with all that said, how does this excellent collection of short horror fiction rate? The Toilet Zone rates a BIG FIVE STARS and immediate placement on the “Wall of Fame” in the Skullcave! I think that anyone who reads this collection is going to really enjoy it. You might even see them sneak it out of the restroom to keep reading! And you know what? That’s totally fine because HellBound Books has many anthologies available for purchase. If you check out their site, they also provide some teaser content so that you can decide which ones you like best. Remember…The holiday seasons are creeping up on us quick this year and gifts from HellBound Books might be just what the doctor ordered! Just head on over to: www.hellboundbookspublishing.com for more information! Be sure to sign up for their newsletter and tell ‘em that the Damaged Skull Writer sent ya!