New Story: “Trolls of Souhegan Valley.”

I received an email and contract from David F. Kramer, editor for Great Old Ones Publishing’s From the Corner of your Eye

Nissitissit Covered Bridge, Brookline, NH. Photo by James Walsh
Nissitissit Covered Bridge, Brookline, NH. Photo by James Walsh

anthology, for my “Trolls of Souhegan Valley” story. The theme of the anthology is “cryptids,” or what the Oxford English Dictionary defines as “animal[s] whose existence or survival is disputed or unsubstantiated.” Writing my story was a lot of fun as I’ve harbored a longtime fascination with mythical and pseudoscientific creatures, and I am particularly fond of the juxtaposition of the normal and routine against the strange and unexplainable.

In “Trolls,” my protagonist “Vic” is a Brookline, NH police officer whose shift begins with an inauspicious start — just before being dispatched on a particularly hazardous call, Vic’s wife (Eunice) tells him that she’s met someone else and is leaving him. Vic’s angst over a seemingly healthy marriage gone wrong serves as the backdrop to an unexpected encounter, the loss of a precious item, and a shockingly violent clash with the mythical denizens of the old New Hampshire woods.

Great Old Ones Publishing plans on releasing the anthology this June at the Anthology Conference (AnthoCon), and I hope to offer a public reading at that time.

The picture above (right) is the actual location and bridge in Brookline, NH where the story is set.  If you click on it you’ll find additional photographs by James Walsh, which reveal the startling beauty of this setting.

I’ve always teased my kids about the existence of trolls under bridges (and goblins in swamps, and giants in the mountains). I hope to raise them with the same wonder and imagination that my mother and grandmother raised me.

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