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Titles By Joe Mercer
Shallow Waters—where nothing stays buried.
With twenty-two dark tales diving beneath the surface of loss, love, and life.
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 one includes horror, thrillers, suspense, and stories of love lost, death, 2nd chances, the monsters within, and the beauty beneath it all.
Introduction by Joe Mynhardt
“Closure on a Bed of Nails” by Chad Lutzke
“Fast Car” by Tracy Fahey
“Tears of Buddy” by Patrick R. McDonough
“Puzzle Pieces” by Armand Rosamilia
“Pretty Like Butterflies” by Tim Waggoner
“S1:E7” by Robert Ford
“Pain is Your Teacher” by Michael Harris Cohen
“Memory Lane” by Red Lagoe
“The Silence of the Sirens” by Loren Rhoads
“It’s Me Not You” by Jonathan Winn
“Sisters of Loss” by Mark Allan Gunnells
“Talisman” by Jezzy Wolfe
“The Melting of Your Gods” by Mercedes M. Yardley
“Charms” by Dino Parenti
“Not Your Average Monster” by Kenneth W. Cain
“Where the Children Run in Darkness” by Guy Medley
“Tunnels” by Tom Over (winner)
“The Truth about Dani” by Joe Mercer
“Baby Savannah” by M.J. Sydney
“Rats Scratched in the Linen Cupboard” by Dani Brown
“Raining” by John Boden
“The Death Experience” by L.A. Story
In this volume…
- Taunted by a cactus, a man copes with grief after the loss of his wife.
- Alondra DeCourval visits Franz Kafka’s grave to think about death.
- A lovestruck woman strives to connect with a man she’s convinced is The One.
- The perfect funeral for a child—all according to a Mother’s well-crafted plan. The exception is one small, unexpected development no one could have ever prepared for.
- A short meditation on the haunting nature of love and loss, and the aftermath of both.
- Victor’s sanity has been threaded together by the memory of his daughter’s voice, until now, when her laughter falls silent.
- An adrenaline junkie believes he can take on the ultimate challenge—coming back from the dead.
- Sisters share everything. The good...and the bad.
- Sometimes being a hoarder is dangerous...
- In our ever-changing world, what we view as a monster is constantly evolving…but at what cost?
- Buddy's heart aches for his family’s arrival.
- Bright colors may be beautiful, but sometimes they can be dangerous.
- Sometimes the darkness we harbor within is best left behind closed doors.
- Rats scratch in the children's ward.
- A surprise wedding present from daughter to father, built over a lifetime, reveals his true nature to all his guests.
Features stories by Kim Bannerman, Dirck de Lint, Sheryl Doiron-Powers, Eddie Generous, Sèphera Girón, Nancy Kilpatrick, Catherine A MacKenzie, Joe Mercer, Glenn Mori, James Pyne, Jay Seate, Brendon Strate, and Donna M West.