CHROMOPHOBIA’s 15th Entry Is A Full-blown Creature Feature!

KC Grifant delivers a story that would be right at home in CREEPSHOW or TALES FROM THE CRYPT

Today is Monday, March 21, 2022, and this is our 15th short-story showcase for the upcoming CHROMOPHOBIA anthology, which has been edited by Stoker Award-winning author and poet, Sara Tantlinger. We are incredibly proud of this book, and we look forward to seeing reader reactions. NOT ALL MONSTERS, our previous (and Stoker nominated) anthology, was always going to be a hard act to follow, but we think CHROMOPHOBIA is an absolute triumph.

Pre-order the special hardcover edition of CHROMOPHOBIA HERE.

Today’s story:

“The Color of Friendship”

by KC Grifant

An excerpt:

Not that she wasn’t happy for her friends, of course she was. She was just catching up to them, on the brink of having it all together, like they did. She had, after all, been the one with the best grades, all of the extracurricular activities, and Bobby as her boyfriend their junior year. But it fell apart when they were seniors. When Bobby broke up with her to go out with Amita, she had taken it in stride. And when Monique made valedictorian over her, obviously, Brianna was happy for her friend. And Ginger had gotten the fashion internship they had both tried for their first year of college. Monique was the smart one, Ginger ambitious, Amita prettiest. And where did Brianna fit in, aside from organizing their occasional get-together? Spinning her wheels, constantly waiting for the next big thing.

She stopped paddling to open a pistachio nut bar, forcing herself to—what did her therapist call it—take a positive reframe. Maybe this trip would be just what she needed to get her out of her rut, inspire her to find the precise course of actions to get her life back on track.

A gulp of water bubbled up next to her. Brianna screeched, dropping her bar into the lake.

A mound the size of a soccer ball and the color of overcooked peas broke the surface. A flipper—no, a hand. A cross between the two, with three dark green, finger-like webbed digits grasping the bobbing bar.

The flipper hand and bar disappeared.

A scream choked in Brianna’s throat.

Don’t call attention to yourself.

She forced herself to pick up the paddle but froze. Alligator. Brianna’s thoughts struggled to name it. Shark, fish.

None of those.

Of course, it hadn’t been a hand.

Some sort of lizard, obviously. She had dated someone with a pet iguana once. They could make good companions. Curiosity got the better of her and her breath came easier as the lake stayed still, peaceful. She lowered the paddle and rummaged in her backpack. She pulled out another bar, unwrapped it and threw a piece in the water, farther away from the boat.

After a second, bubbles appeared again, and the hand-flipper grabbed the bar. She waited, hoping to see more of the animal, but the water grew still again.

Brianna laughed to herself. “I made a friend.”

KC Grifant’s “The Color of Friendship” gives us major CREEPSHOW vibes, the kind of story that ought to be introduced by the Cryptkeeper, and we mean that as high praise. There have been a few otherworldly critters to show up in previous entries, but Grifant’s gnarly ode to fractured friendship is the first story to feel as though it could’ve been ripped out of the pages of an old EC horror comic. So, you want a monster? Well, here you go…

An avid writer of short fiction, you can learn more about KC Grifant and her work at her site, HERE. We certainly look forward to reading more of her work!

Want to read the previous CHROMOPHOBIA showcases? Click a title:

“Hei Xian (The Black Thread)” by Frances Lu-Pai Ippolito

“Stygian Blue” by Jo Kaplan

“Eat Your Colors” by Sonora Taylor

“Nesting” by Ali Seay

“Toxic Shock” by Chelsea Pumpkins

“Achromatica” by Pippa Bailey

“Hollow Bones” by Jess Koch

“The Gray’ by G.G. Silverman

“Red Light/Green Light” by EV Knight

“Golden Hour” by Kathryn E. McGee

“The Dyer and the Dressmakers” by Bindia Persaud

“The Copper Lady” by Jaye Wells

“Gray Rock Method” by Lauren C. Teffeau

“Double Happiness” by Geneve Flynn

“Tangerine Sky” by Red Lagoe

Pre-order the special hardcover edition of CHROMOPHOBIA HERE.

Check out part three of editor Sara Tantlinger’s CHROMOPHOBIA roundtable HERE.

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