I’ve published some of my best short stories in 2021, so here is a roundup of a few of my favourites. I’d also love to be considered for the various fiction awards, including the Bram Stoker Award, Shirley Jackson Awards, and British Fantasy Society Awards, if you are reading or eligible to nominate for those. Thank you!
‘First Blood’ – a feminist body horror published in Mslexia’s Best Women’s Fiction 2021 (selected from 1,800 entries), December 1st (1496 words) Available here, or email me for a copy: lyndseycroal(at)gmail.com
Extract: “I reach under the sink and grab the bucket and rubber gloves, still slightly bloodstained from last month. El appears behind me. ‘Gutters clogged again?’ I look up at her and nod. ‘Have you seen the goggles?’ I don’t want to get entrails in my eyes again when the pipe unblocks. Just our luck that Jenny’s shift is so messy. Emma down the street just goes into hibernation for hers. And Lou from Jenny’s year develops gills and disappears into the river for a day or two. No blood or guts or half-eaten carcasses for their parents to deal with.
‘Nesting’ – a horror story about an artist getting too close to her art, published in Dark Moon Digest Issue #44, 25th July 2021 (1855 words) Available here, or email me for a copy: lyndseycroal(at)gmail.com,
Extract: “The nest appeared on the first morning of my retreat. I didn’t notice it initially, nestled in a nook in the corner as if hiding a tiny mouse hole. It was made, as nests usually are, with broken twigs, brittle and dry, woven into a labyrinthine basin. No eggs were inside, nor feathers or hint of usual habitation. Instead, there were tiny pebbles, white and smooth and shiny. I picked them up one by one and counted them. Thirty-two in total.“
‘Two Faces of Winter’ – a fantasy folklore story in which the Goddess of Winter faces her nemesis, published by Cunning Folk Magazine, May 17th 2021 (1318 words) Available here.
Extract: “Cold wind bites into my cheeks and I know that it signals the change. The stripping of leaves, the spattering of dew-frost, and the startling brightness of a sun drooped low in the sky, all mean my days of walking the land are limited.”
‘Art of Ariadne’ – a feminist fantasy retelling of the Greek Myth of Ariadne where she takes control of her own destiny, published in Lost, Looking & Found, 24th August 2021. Available here or email me for a copy: lyndseycroal(at)gmail.com.
Extract: “The third cycle came around as the spring weather stilled the crystal blue sea and seabirds returned from their migration south. The clanging of ships could be heard from the harbour, alongside the screeches of gulls and the squawking of merchants. In the midst was the familiar three-tone bell that signalled the Athenians had arrived.“
‘Never Gone’ – a comedy-horror story about a haunting by a slightly annoying ghost, published in EllipsisZine, October 26th 2021 (597 words). Available here
Extract: “I can’t bear the creak that comes from my chair at night. Steadily rocking, back and forth, back and forth. Ghosts have no respect, honestly. This particular one is called Gertrude. She’s been rocking in my office chair for the past three weeks and it’s probably time I do something about it.”
‘The Lion’ – a feminist fantasy horror retelling of Heracles and The Nemean Lion, published in Corvid Queen, on November 26th. (1890 words) Available here.
Extract: “She fell from the moon, adorned in the finest gold that no mortal could break. Her strength came from the stars that shone upon her skin and charged her with the energy of the gods. Landing high upon the hills of Nemea to be its guardian, her feet padded soft, one, two, three, four, clawed and prone—ready to challenge any who threatened her wilderness.“