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Walpuski's Typewriter by Frank Darabont

"Walpuski's Typewriter" by Frank Darabont 

This was the opening story for "Dark Screams: Vol 8" edited by Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar.  Published by Hydra and imprint of Random House. 

This story was about a man named Howard Walpuski and you guessed it... his typewriter.  This wasn't a bad opening story for a new horror anthology.  For an opening story I would of hoped for something just a little bit more.  The story was strong and stood well, but I just didn't have that wow factor that I usually associate with an opening story. 

Like I said though, the story itself was a strong story.  It even had me laughing at a few points during the story.  I like horror that has some comedy throughout. 

Howard Walpuski entered some sort of typewriter, or computer, store with his old dilapidated IBM Selectric II word processor.  Soon off he spotted an old man who introduced himself as Cyril Pratt.  There was something off about this old man, but Howard couldn't quite figure out what made him feel that way about Cyril Pratt. 

Howard had only 5 bucks and a bus pass to his name.  He was broke and so was his word processor.  Howard couldn't afford to buy a new one and hoped that Cyril Pratt would be able to fix his old one.  There was a sign on the window indicating that credit could be extended.  Alas, the old man seemed to know exactly what Howard was thinking and offered to repair the broken word processor.  That is if Howard would put 5 dollars and 10% of his book sales as a down payment. 

Howard was flabbergasted at how the old man knew he had 5 dollars to his name.  Even more so that he wanted 10% of his book sales since he hadn't written a single book.  Things progressed and got weirder as their time together went on.   

Cyril Pratt took the word processor and asked Howard to follow him.  They descended down a flight of stairs into the basement.  Howard watched as the old man then started to prepare the room with various things and drawing a pentagram into the center of the room.  Howard just stared unsure of what to do. 

Soon Cyril Pratt was chanting faster and faster.  Howard was ready to bolt but couldn't make his feet move.  Then he saw a wall of light circle the pentagram and something materialize inside the circle.  It started to twist and turn moving faster and faster as the chanting increased.  Soon it disappeared into his typewriter and everything went back to normal.  Howard bolted for the door. 

That's when the story really started to pick up steam.  The story revolved around, as the story suggested, Howard and his typewriter.  His quest to write novels and what he had to go through to accomplish what he always wanted.  To be famous and rich.  To be a true writer. 

This story I felt would have done better later in the anthology, but definitely belongs in the book.  It was a fun read and a clever plot to the story.  Reminded me a little bit of Stephen King in the plotting. 

A worthwhile read for sure.  I enjoyed it. 


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