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Category Archives: tim curran

Welcome to the “Behind the Shadows” series of blog posts, where every week or so we will share a peek inside the minds of our authors and learn about the stories behind the stories. This week, Tim Curran peels back the facade of small-town America and talks inspiration for his story, “The Thing with a Thousand Legs.”


In the American collective consciousness, we have an idealized portrait of the small town of yore as an idyllic place of soda fountains, quaint barbershops, parades, brass bands in the park, charming country churches, freckle-faced children carving pumpkins, and cantankerous oldsters sweeping the walks. Here you can know your neighbor, the streets are clean, the air is fresh, and the grass grows high and green. There may be a stratum of truth to this, though much of it is the result of pervasive pop culture—everything from Mayberry RFD to Norman Rockwell—and a goodly amount of nostalgia for what never really was and romanticizing about what could never be.

When I sat down to write “The Thing with a Thousand Legs” I was very much aware of how, as a people, we want our small towns to be and how, in fact, they really are. Having grown up in such a place, I knew that while they were pretty on the surface there was often a dark seam of hypocrisy and intolerance beneath. I decided that was the very underpinning of my story—the beauty above and the rot below, the handsome mask a small town shows the world and the grinning, toothless hag cackling underneath. In my story, Tobias Wormwell is not only born to the wrong family but doing a job that the good, clean, decent folk of Cobb Town find beneath their dignity. He is a rag picker that lives in the local dump and whose family’s grim history is tied up with that of the town itself. He is an unpleasant reminder of the town’s true past, its rigid class structure and narrow-minded gentility. He knows where the bodies are buried and which trees were used for hanging. He mars the view of the town’s rose-colored glasses and they hate him for it. And, for this very reason, he decides the time has come for them to stare deep into the mirror of their own souls, to strip away the pretense and confront the macabre truth of their ancestry. Evil is as evil does.

– Tim



Tim Curran hails from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. He is the author of the novels Skin Medicine, Hive, Dead Sea, Resurrection, Hag Night, The Devil Next Door, Long Black Coffin, Graveworm, Skull Moon, Nightcrawlers, and Biohazard. His short stories have been collected in Bone Marrow Stew and Zombie Pulp. His novellas include Fear Me, The Underdwelling, The Corpse King, Puppet Graveyard, Sow, Leviathan, Worm, and Blackout. His short stories have appeared in such magazines as City Slab, Flesh&Blood, Book of Dark Wisdom, and Inhuman, as well as anthologies such as Dead Bait, Shivers IV, World War Cthulhu, and, In the Court of the Yellow King. His fiction has been translated into German, Japanese, and Italian. Find him on Facebook at:
And on the web at:

Tim’s story appears in Shadows Over Main Street from Hazardous Press, available now:

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