I primarily write fantasy (at least that’s the bulk of my content so far, though most of it isn’t published), but most of you who have read my material have read horror. I’ll debate whether or not Ereptor is horror eventually, but it’s urban fantasy in my mind. The point remains that at least one story contains long loops of intestines falling from a zombie onto Alabama blacktop, and that constitutes horror in many eyes. Breeze and Coal Creek were both horror-esque, and that’s fine with me. I think my deepest roots in writing are in horror, though I largely avoid gore. I think I’d lose much of my point if I had the reader cringing instead of, y’know, reading.
However, for two years in a row now (two whole years!), I’ve been contacted by a representative of Calhoun County Insight magazine for a submission for their October/Halloween issue. Last year’s entry was Coal Creek, which I like to think was met with general approval. It’s a story I enjoyed writing, and I think it’s a setting that could easily be revisited later. It gave me a break from the erman and bloodmage-filled world of Ilthirios and sort of cleansed my palate before last year’s NaNoWriMo.
This year’s entry was Anchor, a short tale about a character searching for gasoline and finding that forgotten horrors lurk in the Alabama backwoods. It only comes in at around 2000 words, but I can say that this definitely ties in with other works. Definitely with Soulless, maybe with Coal Creek. I think, yes, possibly even with Ereptor. Most likely. Definite maybe. I think Anchor may even continue into its own series of short stories, but these will be less than the Ereptor novellae.
Anchor slowly grew in my mind for some time beginning around this time last year. I would drive home from work in Fort Payne (the cities and locations in the story are real), and there was a… bizarre point coming down on the eastern slope of Lookout Mountain. Highway 72 cuts a diagonal path along the slope to minimize the incline, so there’s a high forest on one side and a low one on the other. To further decrease the incline, the highway makes a slightly serpentine route down, so you can never see too far ahead. It was along one of the bends in the road, though, that the world sometimes went dim. That’s the only way I can describe it. It was like an encroaching darkness in that area. I know (or at least hope) that it was just my faulty eyes struggling to maintain something in the dark, but gears turned. I thought about ancient spirits lurking in the shadows and wondered about their godhood. I wondered what they might be like, alone in the wilderness as the native tribes were banished to the Trail of Tears.
I thought even further back, wondered if they were all somehow connected. I wondered if they were even more connected in my mind, connected to things seen in other stories. I think to another planned book, Nickajack, and I wonder if the forgotten spirits have a place there as well. I guess we’ll find out together.
Anyway, I’ll get to the point of this post. I have Anchor up on my WordPress now if anyone would like to read it. Just check out the link here. I hope you guys enjoy!