Muladona by Eric Stener Carlson
Hardcover – Tartarus Press – Apr2016 – 290 pages – Limited to 350 copies.
In 1918 the Spanish Flu devastates the small town of Incarnation, Texas. Each new day brings fresh corpses. But something worse than the flu is coming, as each night the Muladona, a doomed soul transformed into the Devil’s mule, visits Verge Strömberg and forces him to listen to a horrific tale.
From the publisher’s website:
1918. In the dying days of World War I, the Spansih Flue devastates the small town of Incarnation, Texas. The sheriff closes the church and quarantines the dying in the schoolhouse. The townsfolk huddle alone in their houses to avoid infection. Each new day brings fresh corpses.
But something worse than the flu is coming.
Verge Strömberg, son of the domineering town pastor, is a sickly boy who lives in a world of books. His mother disappeared when he was seven, his older brother ran away. Now his father leaves him to tend a church in another county.
That’s when the Muladona begins to visit him.
Every night, the Muladona, a doomed soul transformed into the Devil’s mule, visits Verge and forces him to listen to a horrific tale. Each night, as Verge huddles under his bed sheets, the monster’s supernatural tales tear his soul apart.
Verge’s search for the demonic creature’s true identity leads him through the dark history of Incarnation, from the murder of the Indians by the Spanish settlers, to the disappearance of his mother.
In the end, Verge will have to confront the Muladona alone to rescue the memory of his mother and to save his immortal soul.
Eric Stener Carlson (Virginia, Minnesota, 1969) is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. Having spent more than half his life abroad—in Latin America, Asia, Australia and Europe—he is fascinated by legends about the nature of the soul and the struggle between good and evil. His first novel, The Saint Perpetuus Club of Buenos Aires, was published in 2009 by Tartarus. He is also the author of I Remember Julia: Voices of the Disappeared, Temple University, 1996, and The Pear Tree: Is Torture ever Justified?, Clarity Press, 2006. His short stories and articles have appeared in magazines and collections in Argentina, the United States, the United Kingdom, Romania and Spain. Carlson currently lives in Geneva, Switzerland.