If you’re not into warm and fuzzy beach reads, What Remains is a great book for you this Summer! Check out this amazing anthology by several talented authors. Guaranteed to bring a chill to your hot days!
What Remains: An Anthology by Inked in Gray
Publication Date: July 26th, 2021
Genre: Anthology/ Short Stories/ Fantasy/ Sci-Fi/ Horror
Publisher: Inked in Gray
Victory at all costs. Even at the price of our own life, the desire to survive transcends all rational thought.
What Remains brings together fifteen tales of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. From sacrificing loved ones or oneself, to doing what it takes to keep them alive, these stories shake the soul, rip out its insecurities and flay them on the page.
Careful who you trust. Some quandaries have no right answer when we cannot save what we love most—or when isolation, desperation, and betrayal leave you no choice.
Take the journey with us to see What Remains when civility, decency, and sanity have all but fled.
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Among Tall Trees Excerpt
The young boy races for the ridge, a good twenty feet ahead of Jeff. With every painful breath, the distance between them grows. If the boy wanted to, he could already be out of his sight, halfway up the mountain that rises ahead of them, a blue-gray bulk topped with first snow, deep into the thick evergreens. But the child is holding back, glancing over his shoulder every now and then without missing a beat, without interrupting the purposeful elegance of his stride.
Save yourself. Go.
Jeff shouts none of this to the boy, whose thin arms are pumping up and down, skinny legs effortlessly swallowing the punishing grade of the mountain as if unfettered by gravity. Jeff is too busy wheezing, hauling in lungfuls of frosty air, trying to hear his own frenetic thoughts over the pounding of his out-of-shape heart and the tidal roar of blood in his ears. Trying to keep his burning lungs from falling out and keep his feet, clumsy in heavy boots, trudging one in front of the other. Every misstep, every stumble and pause for breath, erodes their already thin lead on the men who hunt them.
They are slow, too, these others: some weighed down with age, like Judge Crenshaw, who is eighty if a day. Some by sloth and neglect, like Big Mike Bragg, who weighs well north of three hundred pounds. Fear herds them together, and a mob is only as fast as its slowest man. But determination drives them, a remorseless singularity of purpose.
Although Jeff can’t see them, they aren’t far behind, marching through the leafless, scattered hardwoods down by the road, fanning out in a rough semicircle to cover as much killing ground as possible. So after a too-brief break, the boy catches Jeff’s eye—he has an uncanny way of looking up at just the right time, or somehow making Jeff do so—and flicks his head.
He doesn’t speak, but Jeff understands. Up. Up the mountain, into the pines. Their mad scramble resumes. Down here there are gaps in the treeline, patches of open ground between thickets and dense scrub, and open ground spells trouble.
Not that the boy seems concerned. Or what to all intents and purposes resembles a boy: a pale, scrawny slip of a kid, eight- or nine-years-old, maybe a small ten. Scabbed knees and elbows and bright green eyes, dirty blond hair cut in an unfashionable bowl around a pinched face. He bounds up the slope in easy strides, each as long as two of Jeff’s faltering steps, looking to the rest of the world—if there was anyone up here to see him—like any one of hundreds of identical, small-town American kids indulging in a bit of horseplay before going inside for dinner.
Except Jeff has seen those arms lock around Clyde Garver. Good old Clyde who Jeff had played high school football with and who fixed cars at Dan Laurie’s garage in town. The boy had grabbed Clyde and wrenched his head clean off his shoulders like a papier-mâché piñata, with no more effort than Jeff twisting a cap off a bottle of Miller High Life.
Except it’s late November in the Great Smoky Mountains. Snow weighs over the town like a judgement, but the boy’s wearing nothing but pants and a thin T-shirt and his feet are bare, and he’s giving no sign of feeling the cold.
Except the horseplay they’re indulging in will end in death. They can cheat it for a while, draw out the inevitable, but the men behind them aren’t about to give up. Good men, or so Jeff used to think. Men he’s known all his life—fathers and husbands and brothers. Men who piled into their trucks and four-wheel-drives without hesitation to hunt Jeff and the child. Men who are not going back down without their prize.
There’s only one end Jeff can see. But he keeps running, up toward the trees under the lowering sky.
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About the Author: An award-winning literature teacher and die-hard horror fan, R. A. Busby is also the author of “Bits” (Short Sharp Shocks #45), “Street View” (Collective Realms #2), “Not the Man I Married” (Black Petals #93), “Holes” (Graveyard Smash, Women of Horror Anthology, Vol. 2), and “Cactusland” (34 Orchard, forthcoming).
“I was always instructed to write about what I know,” she states, “and I know what scares me.” In her spare time, R.A. Busby watches cheesy Gothic movies and goes running in the desert with her dog.
About the Author: David-Christopher Harris’ fantasy publications include “Olam Ha-Ba” in speculative fiction and poetry magazine Arsenika, “Last Call” in The Arcanist Magazine, “Falselight” on PageHabit, and “Children of Ozymandias” in 50WordStories, among others. He received his M.A. in Medieval Literature, which he uses exclusively to teach his cat Latin. He is currently querying.
About the Author: Andy Dibble is a healthcare IT consultant who lives in Madison, Wisconsin. He has supported the electronic medical record of healthcare systems in six countries. His work appears or is forthcoming in Writers of the Future, Star*Line, Sci Phi Journal, and others. He is Articles Editor for Speculative North magazine.
About the Author: LT writes mostly speculative fiction shorts and novels while spending her days raising her children and satisfying her never-ending thirst for knowledge through reading, meeting people, and first-hand life experiences. She has short story publications with Dancing Lemur Press, Me First Magazine, Jazz House Press, and forthcoming with Black Hare Press and Cardigan Press. She currently volunteers with WriteHive, a nonprofit literary organization.
About the Author: Ben is a young author who has been writing stories for over six years now. Recently he has been published in his town’s newspaper.
Maxwell I Gold
About the Author: Maxwell I. Gold is a Rhysling Award nominated prose poet, focusing on weird and cosmic fiction. He is a regular contributor to Spectral Realms, edited by Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi and his work has also appeared in Weirdbook Magazine, Space and Time Magazine, Startling Stories, Baffling Magazine, and many others.
His debut prose poetry collection, Oblivion in Flux: A Collection of Cyber Prose is forthcoming this August from Crystal Lake Publishing.
About the Author: Damir Salkovic is the author of novels Kill Zone and Always Beside You. His shorter work has been featured in the Lovecraft eZine, Dimension6 Annual Collection 2020, and in multiple horror, science and speculative fiction anthologies.
About the Author: Lawrence J West has been on his writing journey since he was fourteen years old and has always been drawn to fantasy, sci-fi, and horror because of the way these genres allow for the exploration of human experience in unique ways. Since becoming a husband and father he has also found that his writing has a greater degree of empathy and insight.
Lawrence can be found on Twitter.
Sharon Frame Gay
About the Author: Sharon Frame Gay is an award winning author whose work has appeared in many anthologies and magazines, including Chicken Soup For The Soul, Typehouse, Fiction on the Web, Literally Stories, Lowestoft Chronicle, Thrice Fiction, Saddlebag Dispatches, Crannog, and others. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee.
A collection of her short stories, Song of the Highway, was released in August, 2020.
About the Author: Timothy Johnson is a writer and editor living outside of Washington, D.C. His published work includes the novels The Pillars of Dawn and Carrier as well as short fiction appearing in various professional and semi-professional markets. He is an MFA candidate in George Mason University’s creative writing program and an affiliate member of the HWA.
About the Author: DL Shirey lives in Portland, Oregon, where it’s probably raining. Luckily, water is beer’s primary ingredient. His stories and non-fiction appear in 60 publications, including Confingo, Page & Spine, Zetetic and Wild Musette.
About the Author: Dan Eveloff is a lawyer and sports agent living in Chicago, Illinois with his dog, Reuben. He studied accounting at the University of Kansas, and subsequently earned his law degree from Northwestern University. His short fiction “The Price of Recompense” has appeared in AHF Magazine, “Shakespearean Justice” in Aphelion Webzine, and “Prevenge” can be found in Close to the Bone Magazine.
About the Author: Valerie Hunter teaches high school English and has an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her stories and poems have appeared in publications including Cicada, Storyteller, Edison Literary Review, Other Voices, Room, and Wizards in Space.
Find Valerie on Instagram.
About the Author: Nicholas Barner has farmed, cooked, and written variously in Oakland, Chicago, Maine, and Los Angeles. He lives with his partner, Shelby, and their Dog, Nuni.
He can be found online at nicholasbarner.com.
About the Author: Thomas Canfield lives in the mountains of North Carolina. His phobias run to politicians, lawyers and TV pitchmen. He is still trying to plumb the logic of the sales pitch; The more you buy, the more you save. It never quite seems to work out that way in the real world. Canfield occasionally reviews books on Goodreads.
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