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Shallow Waters—where nothing stays buried.
With 21 Dark Fiction & Horror tales diving beneath the surface of life, death, and the mystery that lies beneath.
Shallow Waters is the official monthly flash fiction challenge hosted by the award-winning Crystal Lake Publishing. Every month a new challenge is posted online, with authors submitting via email. The best submissions are then posted on Crystal Lake’s Patreon page (an exclusive behind the scenes community of readers and authors), where patrons read daily entries and vote for the winner. What you’ll find in these Shallow Waters anthologies include the winners as well as the most popular of our finalists. Stay tuned for more volumes in this series, or find Crystal Lake Publishing on Patreon to enter or vote on future challenges.
Volume four includes suspenseful stories of death, Halloween, twisted love, karma, and travel horror.
Introduction by Joe Mynhardt
“Turkish Delight On the Blue Line” by Shoshana Edwards
“VII” by Mark Allan Gunnells (winner)
“Unfinished Education” by Jonah Buck
“Odor Mortis” by Red Lagoe
“Hook-Hand Man’s Last Night on Lovers’ Lane” by Patrick Barb
“A Table Set for One” by Dani Brown (winner)
“Love Letters” by Richard Thomas
“Mixed Marriage” by David Bernard
“Starlight and Fairy Dust” by Chloé Harper Gold (winner)
“Meme” by Michael Patrick Hicks (winner)
“As the Crow Flies” by Kevin Lucia
“I Didn’t Know What Love Was” by Ben Lathrop
“The Talk” by Lori Michelle
“Devour” by Austin James
“Sanctuary” by David J. Rank
“That Which Makes Me Happiest” by L. F. Falconer
“Reversal of Fortune” by Sheri White
“Thelma Takes the Devil” by Linda J. Marshall (winner)
“In That Dress” by Anthony D Redden
“What You’d Do for Love” by Mark Allan Gunnells
“Sansara” by Oleg Hasanov
“Oppenheimer’s Door” by Alexander Zelenyj
In this volume…
- Russian horror comes out of the shadows
- A man, his dead wife, and a Great Emptiness…
- We often say we’d do anything for those we love...but do we mean it?
- As traffic to his killing grounds declines, a murderous figure from urban legend contemplates a change of scenery
- Come to the Crossroads. He’s waiting. So is she
- Friendships are fragile and rarely live up to expectation, as the kind elderly man with his lovely candies will soon learn
- Haunted by his daughter and promised a new one by his bride, Donnie can’t stop eating
- Some messes need to be left!
- A runaway witch won’t let her limited knowledge of hexes and spells deter her from her goals
- Karma’s a bitch when the latest internet craze leads to murder—or is it merely an elaborate hoax?
- What happens when desire becomes obsession?
- Meet-cute with a handsome single dad takes an unexpected turn
- They say love lost feels like death; love found can be so much worse
Shallow Waters—where nothing stays buried.
With 25 dark tales diving beneath the surface of life, death, and the pain between them.
Shallow Waters is the official monthly flash fiction challenge hosted by the award-winning Crystal Lake Publishing. Every month a new challenge is posted online, with authors submitting via email. The best submissions are then posted on Crystal Lake’s Patreon page, where patrons read daily entries and vote for the winner. What you’ll find in these Shallow Waters anthologies include the most popular of our finalists.
Stay tuned for more volumes in this series, or find Crystal Lake Publishing on Patreon to enter or vote on future challenges.
Volume two includes horror, thrillers, suspense, and stories of life after death, the supernatural, murder, and the beauty beneath it all.
Introduction by Joe Mynhardt
“Night Swimming” by Michael O’Brien
“Hush Little Baby” by Matt Shaw
“The Vessel” by Mark Allan Gunnells
“The Southland” by Pedro Iniguez
“Biter of Dust” by Austin James (winner)
“Gently Used” by Jonah Buck
“Ollie Visits Grandma” by Mark Cassell
“The Water Tower Ghost” by Darryl Foster
“Standing Tall” by Kenneth W. Cain
“The Only Thing That Remains” by Jess Landry
“(Almost) Joined at The Hip” by Dan Weatherer
“Remy and the Elephant” by Linsey Knerl
“She Fluttered” by Andrew Garvey
“Just A Cup of Coffee” by Theresa Derwin
“Malignant” by Steve Thompson & Kenneth W. Cain
“Welcome to the Future” by Diana Grove
“Makes Three” by Michael Harris Cohen & Mark Allan Gunnells (winner)
“A Tea Party for the Dead” by Dani Brown & David Charlesworth
“A Game of Hide and Seek” by Joe X Young
“The Allotment” by Theresa Derwin
“Hourglass” by Chad Lutzke & John Boden
“The End of the War” by Joseph Mulak
“Long Distance Cull” by Tony Logan & Red Lagoe
“To Stop Further Slaughter” by Raymond Gates
“Baited” by Chad A. Clark
“Curtain Call” by Raven Dane (winner)
In this volume…
- A man is visited by his wife the night before her funeral.
- A tale of brotherly love turns sour.
- What happens when the ghosts of our past refuse to forget?
- A man contemplates the sacrifice he must make to stop a killer.
- When popping in to see a grandparent, don't always expect biscuits and tea.
- She rose from the dead, but by cheating death she must gamble again with life.
- A grieving mother preserves the memory of her son in a very curious manner.
- During an interrogation in the sweltering summer heat, a Los Angeles detective struggles as he loses his grasp between reality and madness.
- A bizarre black mold problem leads to the most extreme of solutions.
- Dawn comes for the dead locked in a forgotten room inside the Neon Dream.
- An ancient soul finds himself and his people threatened by an ever-growing hostile race.
Or do they come to "serve" man?
Are they quiet observers, or are they plotting the annihilation of mankind?
ATTACK! of the B-Movie Monsters: Alien Encounters
Seventeen tales of out of this world thrills and chills!
The trail eventually leads Jasper and Amelia into the tunnels beneath the city, where the case takes an unexpected turn when they stumble upon a desiccated corpse. As much as Jasper would like to believe there's a logical explanation for the condition of the body, all evidence points to one thing…
There's a vampire prowling the city and preying on its citizens.
Now, in addition to locating Armstrong, Jasper needs to track down and destroy the creature sucking the city dry in typical O'Malley style. God help New York City.
Teamed with Sadie Dupree, a geological expert, and Amelia Rio, an ace driver for one of the Organized Crime families, Jasper ventures underground to investigate the fate of the miners. But there's another factor operating within the labyrinth of tunnels, a factor that would kill to keep its illegal operations undiscovered. And still another factor has infiltrated the hired detective's own group. Yes, there's a Judas working with Jasper, a traitor who knows the secret of the mine, and who will stop at nothing to keep the mine's secret. Can Jasper track down whom or what is responsible for the miners' disappearances, or will he and his one true ally suffer the same fate as the unfortunate workers?
Reader beware: to open this tome is to invite dread into your heart. Every page you turn will bring you closer to something wicked. And when the dead begin to rise from the steaming pits of hell, only then will you discover that it is already too late. Your life is forfeit.
Featuring an introduction by Leanna Renee Hieber, author of the Eterna Files and Strangely Beautiful saga, DeadSteam plays host to the scintillating writing of David Lee Summers (Owl Dance, The Brazen Shark), Jen Ponce (The Bazaar, Demon’s Cradle), Wendy Nikel (The Continuum), Karen J Carlisle (The Adventures of Viola Stewart), Jonah Buck (Carrion Safari), and more…
With seventeen chilling tales of dreadpunk, gaslamp, and dark steampunk, DeadSteam will leave you tearing at the pages, desperate for more. For within these pages, the dead rise from their graves to haunt the London Underground, witches whisper their incantations to the wind, a sisterhood of bitten necks hunts fog-drenched alleyways lit only by gaslight, and only one thing is certain: that dread will follow you until you turn that final page.
And that sinking feeling in the pit of your chest? That fear that something is following you, watching you, hunting you? It is not for nothing. Look over your shoulder, dear reader. Watch behind you. Listen to the whispers in the darkness.
But know this...it is all inevitable.
They were merely practice runs.
Now prepare for
ATTACK! of the B-Movie Monsters: Night of the Gigantis
Rampaging Rodents! Terrifying Tentacles! Bone-Crushing Claws!
Scientific experiments gone dreadfully wrong!
Starring (in alphabetical order)
Kerry G.S. Lipp
D. Alexander Ward
What happens when these irrational fears/phobias become reality? When the irrational becomes rational and there’s a reason to be scared? Find out in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias.
We’ve created an A to Z phobia list and elevated each one to a new level of fear. These stories come to life in ways that will make you want to sleep with the light on, double check the locks on your door, and think twice before dismissing your fear as irrational.
A — A TOUCH OF MADNESS — TIM WAGGONER
B — IT CAME FROM THE GRAVE — JAMES PYNE
C — ENTWINED — COLLEEN ANDERSON
D — DESTINY'S ROAD TRIP — JAY SEATE
E — MORBID DREAD OF THE DAWN — PHILIP ATHANS
F — MUTUAL POSSESSION — WT PATERSON
G — RIGHT OF CROSSING — JAMES CHAMBERS
H — PASSING JUDGEMENT — CHAD LUTZKE
I — THE CLINIC — ASHER ELLIS
J — NOT JUST DESSERTS — JONAH BUCK
K — THE MAN WHO FEARED THE SKY — JOHN SKIPP
L — CHILDREN OF BLOOD — GREG CHAPMAN
M — THE YEARNING JADE — HANK SCHWAEBLE
N — THE CEMETERY MAN — JG FAHERTY
O — WHITE TO BLACK — MICHAEL BAILEY
P — THE HUNCH — RICHARD CHIZMAR
Q — FIVE IN THE SIX — SEPHERA GIRON
R — THE TOXIC MAGICIAN — SHERI SEBASTIAN-GABRIEL
S — FEEDING THE ORISHAS — GABINO IGLESIAS
T — MUNCHAUSEN — MAX BOOTH III
U — TRUE CONFESSIONS OF THE HAPPIEST PISTACHIO — MEHITOBEL WILSON
V — BEAUTIFUL WOMEN — RAY GARTON
W — A BOLT OF LIGHTNING — EDWARD M ERDELAC
X — HALFPENNY — STEVEN M VANCE
Y — TOO HOT IN BOILERTOWN — JILL HAND
Z — THE CATALYST TO GROW SOME GUTS — KERRY LIPP
Stories by: Joanna Parypinski, Lucy Taylor, Dona Fox, Eric J. Guignard, Lucy Snyder, Stephen Gregory, Daniel Braum, Simon Bestwick, Peter Straub, Lisa Mannetti, Daniele Bonfanti, Ramsey Campbell, Gregory L. Norris, Michael Bailey, Marge Simon, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Frazer Lee, Paolo Di Orazio, Dennis Etchison, John Palisano, Brian Evenson, Michael Hanson, Edward Lee, Tim Waggoner, Gene O’Neill, Jonah Buck, David J. Schow, Anthony Watson, Bruce Boston, Michael A. Arnzen, Adam Nevill, John Langan, Alessandro Manzetti, Clive Barker, Lisa Morton, Jodi Renée Lester, Jeremy Megargee, Nicola Lombardi, Adam Millard.
Edited by: Alessandro Manzetti & Jodi Renée Lester
The twelve tales in this anthology explore urban horrors waiting just below our feet… Whether it’s the story of four boys who go searching for an urban legend only to come face to face with something far more sinister, or a man who watches those who dwell below under the cover of darkness while secretly coveting their subterranean existence, or tales of persons gone missing who disappear into the depths never to be seen again, there’s something in this collection to keep even the most staunch explorer above ground for a long time.
What Dwells Below will haunt your imagination with the unseen long after you have finished reading it!