Monday, November 5, 2018

Tales from the Lake Vol. 5: The Horror Anthology, edited by Kenneth W. Cain

Release date: November 2, 2018
 Subgenre: Horror anthology

About Tales from the Lake Vol. 5: The Horror Anthology


The Legend Continues…

In the spirit of popular Dark Fiction and Horror anthologies such as Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories and Behold: Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders, and the best of Stephen King’s short fiction, comes Crystal Lake Publishing’s Tales from The Lake anthologies.

Where are the real horrors? Whether they be a family member returning from the dead, exploring the depths of depression or the deterioration of the mind, you’ll find them here.

This anthology contains twenty-two tales and three poems to elicit unexpected emotions, to bring you into the story. Welcome to my lake, where dreams really do come true… As nightmares! 

This fifth volume of speculative fiction contains:

  • “From the Mouths of Plague-Mongers” by Stephanie M. Wytovich - A wonderful look at our world and the cruel reality of it all.
  • “Malign and Chronic Recreation” by Bruce Boston - Where Internet addiction meets sexual addiction.
  • “Final Passage” by Bruce Boston - A breakdown of mental acuity as it leads to the inevitability of death.

Short stories:
·        “Always After Three” by Gemma Files - A young couple discovers that in a downtown condo you almost never know who your neighbours are, or what they might be doing.
  • “In the Family” by Lucy A. Snyder - A former child actress reveals dark family secrets to her long-lost niece.
  • “Voices Like Barbed Wire” by Tim Waggoner - Sometimes forgetting is more painful than remembering.
  • “The Flutter of Silent Wings” by Gene O’Neill - A heartbreaking tribute to a Shirley Jackson classic.
  • “Guardian” by Paul Michael Anderson - Even creatures beyond time and space need friendship. 
  • “Farewell Valencia” by Craig Wallwork - When you’ve got no reason to live, there’s a hotel that can give you every reason to die. So book in, unpack, and prepare to be checked out, forever. 
  • “A Dream Most Ancient and Alone” by Allison Pang - A lake mermaid with a penchant for eating children forms a tenuous friendship with an abused girl trying to escape her past.
  • “The Monster Told Me To” by Stephanie M. Wytovich - In order for Bria to deal with her past, she must confront the ghosts of her present.
  • “Dead Bodies Don’t Scream” by Michelle Ann King - If the universe won’t give her a miracle, Allie will make one for herself. But dark magic has a price, and paying it is going to hurt.
  • “The Boy” by Cory Cone - Grief-stricken from the sudden loss of her husband, a young woman fears she may lose her son as well, if she hasn’t already.
  • “Starve a Fever” by Jonah Buck - Fleeing down a bayou highway with a sick criminal in the backseat, a getaway driver must sate his passenger’s horrifying needs while evading the police.
  • “Umbilicus” by Lucy Taylor - A father becomes involved in a scheme to rescue a friend’s lost son—with terrifying results. 
  • “Nonpareil” by Laura Blackwell - Maisie’s wedding cake business needs every client it can get—especially rich ones—but between the groom’s unpleasant family and the mysterious bride’s strange requests, Maisie has a tough job baking a cake that will please everyone.
  • “The Midland Hotel” by Marge Simon - If walls of a hotel could talk is one thing, but what if it happens to be a sentient collector of souls?
  • “The Weeds and the Wildness Yet” by Robert Stahl - Still reeling over the sudden death of his wife, Charlie stumbles across a mysterious object at a yard sale—a monkey’s paw, like the one in the legendary story. Despite the terrible events that befall that fictional family, he can’t help but want to give it a try.
  • “The Color of Loss and Love” by Jason Sizemore - A couple set out to rescue an unfamiliar couple, only to face an airborne disease that overtook the world.
  • “The Loudest Silence” by Meghan Arcuri - A woman is trapped by her worst enemy: her mind.
  • “The Followers” by Peter Mark May - The Followers are slow, but they never tire. Nor do they or have to stop to drink, eat or sleep like us living. They are on a relentless death march and we are only delaying the inevitable. 
  • “A Bathtub at the End of the World” by Lane Waldman - A little girl plays with her toys in a locked bathroom. Everything is fine, except for the zombies outside.
  • “Twelve by Noon” by Joanna Parypinski - An old farmer goes about his routine tending to the nine scarecrows that preside over his field, when three college student show up and cause a strange disturbance.
  • “Hollow Skulls” by Samuel Marzioli - When Orson’s son is born, the memory of a tragedy creeps back into his life, threatening his very sanity.
  • “Maggie” by Andi Rawson - An intense, disturbing relationship between love and murder is exposed.

With an introduction by editor Kenneth W. Cain. Cover art by Ben Baldwin. Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing – Tales from The Darkest Depths.




Always After Three

Gemma Files

The last time you lived alone was in another condominium, five blocks from where you and Kyle live now. One room and a kitchenette, bathroom attached—you slept in pretty much the same place you ate, if not exactly the same place you performed every other bodily function. Ten years in the same apartment, and you barely ever remember passing your neighbours in the halls, let alone knowing any of their names. As far as you were concerned, they might as well not have existed.
That's how it always is, you eventually came to realize, here in the city's heart: you know nothing and you're basically happy to, as if you think your own shell of semi-wilful ignorance protects you from having to worry about the bugs in the walls as opposed to the ones which occasionally crawl out of the drain, the man who might be slowly losing his mind behind that door across the way as opposed to the very obviously crazy guy who capers each morning on the corner of your street. Not to mention whether or not that cheerfully drunk lady in the unit to your right, who you see fumble with her keys every evening, will doze off one night with a lit cigarette in her hand and burn the whole fucking building down.
Best not to buy trouble, like old Aunt Ida used to say, the one you were named after: don't look too close, don't question; you might not like the answer. There's always a story if you stop to listen, always a thread winding around things if you stoop down to look more closely, trailing off into the distance, ready for you to follow. Always a hand just waiting to take yours whenever you reach out in darkness, to grab on fast and hold on tight, never letting go. To yank you headlong out of your comfort zone and strand you somewhere else entirely, forever.
It's the same way here, too, of course. You walk by quickly with your eyes politely averted even as you check the corners for potential trouble, gaze carefully kept ever so slightly out of focus: see nothing, know nothing, business as usual. Until, one day…
…it isn't.


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About Kenneth W. Cain:

Kenneth W. Cain first got the itch for storytelling during his formative years in the suburbs of Chicago, where he got to listen to his grandfather spin tales by the glow of a barrel fire. But it was a reading of Baba Yaga that grew his desire for dark fiction. Shows like The Twilight ZoneThe Outer Limits, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and One Step Beyond furthered that sense of wonder for the unknown, and he’s been writing ever since.
Cain is the author of The Saga of I trilogy, United States of the Dead, the short story collections These Old Tales and Fresh Cut Tales, and Embers. Writing, reading, fine art, graphic design, and Cardinals baseball are but a few of his passions. Cain now resides in Chester County, Pennsylvania with his wife and two children.

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