The other day I received my copy of the Northern Haunts anthology from Shroud Publishing edited by Tim Deal that contains my short story "The Shadow Men."
Subtitled "100 Terrifying New England Tales" the book was created to be the perfect campfire companion, a guidebook for a journey through the shadowy New England otherworld.
Each story is told in the first person so that the reader can employ the book as a fire-side ghost story reference book. Editor Tim Deal, in the introduction says he would love to see this collection of stories become a living document where the reader takes the stories and situations and adapts them to fit their own personal situation to be told around campfires in order to tantalize, thrill and frighten the reader.
I had fun writing a short short specific to the guidelines for this collection.
"The Shadow Men" was actually derived from a scene from a story I had published quite a while ago (Erratic Cycles), in which I equate the haunting call of the loon with a sort of bogeymen of the wilderness whose sole purpose is to lure curious kids deeper into the forest and away from the safety of their parents. In "Erratic Cycles" I mentioned these shadowy creatures in a short childhood flash-back scene, and thought it would be fun to explore them again, this time from a first-person perspective geared specifically for the guidelines of this anthology.
But all I was really doing was exploring the fact that, though I absolutely love the beautifully haunting sound of the call of a loon echoing across the lake, at how, when I was younger, hearing that sound once the sun started to set, put a very distinct chill in my bones.
"The Shadow Men" is my attempt to put that same chill into the reader.