In the heart of a small town in South Carolina, something is lurking, something hideous, snakelike; previously this thing caused mass hysteria. Now new sightings have sparked the interest of a television show hunting folkloric monsters. Ernie and Wade want the scoop first for their show before the similar more popular show gets there first. Wade’s life is in domestic turmoil; his twelve-year-old son with Asperger’s, the wife who left him, and trying to figure things out is the heavier burden to go along with the higher ratings for the television show. Bialer’s folk-horror epic poem spins a personal matter into a contemporary; heartfelt, monstrous competition while elucidating the main question. Is the infamous Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp real or fake?
The cryptid in this epic poem might be real, but it shares its backstory with humans who desperately want to prove themselves at their careers and to fit in with normal society. Life is not fair, and the those who dream continue to struggle. Matt Bialer has written a fine and apt search for both the strange and the normal. Soak up the atmosphere and meet the monster.
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