Written by: Paula Limbaugh
Tales from the Lake Vol. 1 edited by Joe Mynhardt is a fine collection of short stories and poems presented to us by Crystal Lake Publishing. These stories are reminiscent of the old Tales from the Crypt. Remember as a kid, sitting in the backyard in the evening with a flashlight trying to outdo one another with the scariest tale? That’s what these stories are like, only they’re for our grownup selves.
Three of the included stories are from winners of the 2013 Crystal Lake Publishing horror competition. First place went to Jennifer Loring. Her story The Fine Art of Wrecking is about how one small community survives through the ages by “wrecking” ships. It’s an occupation passed on from father to son, but it does come with a price.
J. Daniel Stone offered up Alternative Muses for a second place slot. Here we are given a look at the dark side of a hedonic lifestyle. The third place story Las Maquinas by William Ritchey was on of my favorites. People are disappearing, can it be the work of a serial killer or is it something worse? Not for the faint of heart!
Blaze McRob has two poems included, Devil Dolls and Saint Patty’s Night at the Crown, both are devilishly delightful. Tim Waggoner’s Lover, Come Back to Me shows us that death will not be cheated and Graham Masterton gives us a nasty little tale called Witch-Compass that will test your moral fiber.
Junksick by G.N. Braun and Game On by Charles Day show the consequences of drug use. Joan De La Haye tells a clever ghost story in The Reunion. Perrollo’s Ladder by John Palisano is a bit like the tower of Babel on acid.
It’s all about paybacks being a bitch in Taylor Grant’s Dead Pull, O’Halloran’s by John Paul Allen, and in Don’t Look at Me by Elizabeth Massie.
“I’m more afraid to live than to die.” Find out who, what, why in Devil’s Night by Tim Curran, and lastly, The Lady of Lost Lake by Bev Vincent gives us a glimpse of Paradise before hell breaks through.
All in all an entertaining read, can’t wait for volume 2!