We've had such wonderful success with our 'Strange Portals - Inkslingers' Fantasy/Horror Anthology'
that we've decided to do a second anthology 'Inkslingers' Halloween Anthology. You can find the details on my friend Joleene's website: Joleene Naylor Inkslingers' Halloween Anthology
We invite you to be a part of this. These anthologies are free and they give readers a taste of different authors. Now, I write fantasy, not horror, but you'll find my latest short story in this collection along with some of the finest writers. It's truly an honor to be published with these writers.
There's no payment. It's just another way to get your works out there, and I want to send a special thank you to Joleene Naylor, who is organizing this anthology (not an easy thing to do).
So, if you're a writer/author, even if you've never been published before, check out the guidelines from Joleene's website and submit your story. Please be aware that you must edit your own work.
Here's an excerpt from mine: 'Through the Willow Tree'
They soon came upon life-like stone statues.
“Uh-oh,” said Chad.
“What? I suppose they come alive?”
“They are alive.”
The statues were whispering and moaning. “Help me,” “Free me,” they mumbled.
“Observe them closely, their eyes frozen in terror. Something did this to them,” said Chad. “Hey, they resemble some of the previous owners.”
“You are wise,” said a voice.
Chad drew in a sharp breath. “A sphinx. Just our luck.” He took Ginger’s arm to prevent her from wandering past it.
“Correct,” said the sphinx.
“This is bad,” said Chad.
“Why?” asked Ginger.
“Did you ever take mythology?”
“That sphinx sitting so calmly and appearing so harmless is going to give us a riddle. If we get it wrong, I’m guessing he turns us into stone.”
“Correct again,” said the sphinx.
“What happens if we get it right?” asked Chad.
“You may pass.”
“But we don’t want to pass. If I get it right, you show us how to get back to our world,” countered Chad.
“That’s what getting it right does, in a round-about way.” The sphinx chuckled. “You can’t go back, so forward you go, but take the turn, no to and fro.”
“What does that mean?” asked Ginger.
“It means that we can’t go the way we came, but once ahead we have to find a path that turns. We can’t be indecisive, going back then forward,” explained Chad. “Are there dangers ahead?”
“Dangers await everywhere. No matter the way, do be aware,” said the sphinx.
Chad huffed. “This isn’t good. What he means is, if we get the riddle right, we’ll encounter more dangers and circle around to get home. And definitely we must go forward. If we make it around, will we meet another sphinx?”
“This is my spot. What lies ahead? I know not.”
“Can you at least tell me the door that will take us home?” asked Chad.
The sphinx pointed back towards his right. Chad and Ginger looked that way. A large round door covered in thick spider webs sat in the nook of a far-away cliff.
“Anything special to open the door?” Chad asked.
“To open the door takes an ancient spell, one that you know of very well.”
“Does it lead back to our world?” asked Chad.
“From where you came, it will take you there, but while you’re climbing, don’t fall. Beware.”
“Do something,” said Ginger. “Can’t you punch him?”
“He’s made of stone. The only thing I can do is answer the riddle.”
“But if you get it wrong, we’ll turn into a statue.”
“If I don’t answer, we stay here forever.” Chad paced and thought. “Give only me the riddle, not her.”
The sphinx stretched out his paws and crossed them again before speaking:
“I’ve been here forever; I think I’ll not leave.
Here and there and around I weave.
I’m loved by many, but not by all,
While others will never come to call.
Perhaps what I say will seem like a lot,
But then again, maybe it’s not.
At the beginning, I come to life,
Sometimes slowly, sometimes with strife.
Along my journey what can be found
Are many things that will astound.
Yet the route I take is possibly boring.
Instead of interest, there’s only snoring.
I could have humor, sometimes with cheers.
Or else I’m frightening or cause lots of tears.
If I’m clever, the road will bend,
Before I arrive at the final end.
Some will continue with me ‘til I’m through.
While others will find something else to do.”
“Hmm,” said Chad. “Give me a moment.”
“Take all the time you need. Answer correctly to proceed,” said the sphinx.
If you're not a writer/author or have nothing to submit this time, look forward to the publishing of this FREE Horror anthology in time for Bwaa-haha - Halloween.
By the way, the answer to the riddle can be found in the story itself.
LHR (love, honor, and respect).