The last three of the ten story collection of short stories by author Dan Meadows under the Watershed Tales name have been released and are now available for sale from Amazon. Click on the any of the buy links below to go directly to the Amazon sales page. Watershed Tales is a series of short stories totaling 5,000 or more words, each in its own self-contained ebook.
The Corn Snow
There’s something evil in the woods. No one quite knows what it is, but every five years, like clockwork, it returns to haunt one particular family, bringing with it a fierce storm marked by a rare, sleet-like precipitation called corn snow. Each time the storm comes, the unnamed evil claims a different family member as its own, no matter how hard they try to prevent it. But now, the family’s matriarch has had enough. Twenty years of watching the slow erosion of her family has left her old and alone. On this night, the storm approaches once again, but she’s ready. She will not be taken.
This edition of Watershed Tales also includes a bonus tale, One Step Ahead. After a horrible accident during a bad storm claims the life of his pregnant wife and their unborn child, Gil’s rage leads him to curse God himself for allowing such misfortune. Soon, however, he finds himself running desperately to stay ahead of the fate that had failed to claim his life with the rest of his family. Unwilling to simply lie down and accept it, Gil responds by fighting back the only way he knows how, by using the vindictive twist thrown at him to survive, staying just in front of the retribution always chasing him.
Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?
Business Man is the fierce, self-anointed top predator of his realm, the great gleaming steel and concrete jungle. For so long now, he’s prowled the hunting grounds of these streets, seeking out new prey to fatten his bank account. He’s become so self-assured in his dominance that the mere notion of danger had become alien to him. Times are changing, however, and some of the weakest, least valuable inhabitants of his world have developed a new plan. They are turning the long-standing food chain on its head, and if Business Man isn’t careful, yesterday’s predator could very well turn into today’s prey.
This edition of Watershed Tales also contains two short bonus stories. First, Indifference tells of a world falling apart at the seams, death and destruction everywhere, and basic human compassion is the first casualty. Second, the messiah is faced with having to deal with modern day problems during an illegitimate and intrusive interaction during a random traffic stop by a police officer just trolling for someone to hassle in What Would Jesus Do?
The dreams had created an obsession so deep within Gary that he dragged himself, almost unthinkingly, out to the remote lighthouse in the middle of the night, risking the approaching onslaught of the storm, to find the answers. The woman in white he had seen every night for weeks had been calling to him, wanting him to solve the riddle the dreams had pounded into his head.
Through the darkness, the thunder, lightning and heavy winds, and the treacherous route to the isolated peninsula upon which the lighthouse stood, Gary risked it all to try and settle his tortured mind. But once he reached the beacon that had called to him so forcefully in his sleep, would he find the answers he sought, or only more questions?
This edition of Watershed Tales also contains the bonus tale, Yardwork. If you thought mowing the grass, pruning hedges or raking leaves in your yard was tough, try being Tom. In the ever-present struggle to maintain control over the forces of nature, and bring civilization to a comfortable suburban landscape, what do you do if the yard likes the way it is and doesn’t want or need your help?
In our society, Romance and love have been continually glorified to the point that we almost all spend our days longing for that special someone who makes us feel complete. The dark side very rarely gets equal attention, however, even though far more relationships turn horribly sour than find long-lasting success. In truth, love can be a horror story far more frightening than the worst tales of death and destruction. Who among us hasn’t had those long, dark nights of the soul, emotionally reeling from the loss of someone we thought loved us? Despite all the happy Valentine’s platitudes and romantic comedy happy endings with which we’re constantly inundated, very few institutions of modern life have wreaked more havoc than that of love.
The Valentine’s Day Massacre contains ten tales that look at the dark side of that happy little greeting card emotion we call love. In this book of lost-love stories, heartbreak, obsession, hatred and spite follow closely behind those tender feelings we’re all made to feel inadequate without. When you see the chaos the loss of love can leave behind, being single doesn’t seem quite so bad after all.
Are you afraid of the dark? What if you find yourself alone in the woods with the sun rapidly setting and darkness falling in all around you? Would you be afraid then? That’s the situation Aaron finds himself in as he realizes that his peaceful day of hiking is quickly turning into a nightmare when he underestimates how long it would take to get back to his car. Alone in the woods, desperately trying to find a way out, he runs across a mysterious hiker who offers his help. Should Aaron take it or find his own way to safety?
This Watershed Tales edition of The Trail includes the bonus tale, The Tell-Tale Heartache. Amontillado lives a solitary life, father who ran out on him, mother who died years earlier and no one but the residents of the trailer park he resides in for company. One Christmas day, a strange thumping sound attracts his attention and he goes on a quest to find its source. The odd noise leads him to what he thinks he desires most, but will he like what he finds?
The world is changing rapidly and not always for the better. As circumstances change, our concept of what makes art changes with it. What was once ugly and horrific can now be seen as beautiful. The Artist has spent his entire career celebrating the worst things that can happen to people, somehow managing to take the destruction and pull some positive elements from it. But now, his career is winding down and his creative vision quickly fading. At the definitive showing of his life’s work, he plans to reveal his “retirement” with his most ambitious piece ever. But will the world truly understand?
This Watershed Tales edition of Modern Art also includes the bonus tale, The Work Unborn. Carl is a sculptor of some renown, having built a career on expressing the deepest of emotions through the clay. Finally, happiness found him in the person of Sarah, a woman who took away all the internal pain that festered for years within him. However, Carl has discovered, much to his dismay, that without his internal pain, his art is starving and, indeed, his very livelihood is threatened. Now, he finds that he must make a choice, his life’s work or happiness?
Watershed Tales is a series of short stories totaling 5,000 or more words, each in its own self-contained ebook, by author Dan Meadows.
The publishing industry is currently embroiled in a state of flux never before seen. It’s a battle for the very life of the industry, with forces from both inside and outside jockeying for position. Technology has undermined many of the things that once made publishing the long-standing giant it was. More than that, the same technology is allowing more and more individuals and smaller entities to forego the traditional routes to publication entirely. It’s an all-out assault on what has been one of the most successful, profitable enterprises of the past century.
Author Dan Meadows has followed the past three years of this battle very closely, not with the eye of a pundit so much, but as a member of the industry just looking for some path to find a viable future for himself. After 15 years working within publishing, he found himself suddenly on the outside looking in, with no clear path back. With disruption everywhere, and experts on all sides of the fight speaking in sweeping proclamations, it’s sometimes difficult to tell who’s right and who’s wrong, or which way the future leads.
Over two-and-a-half years, Meadows followed and wrote about the changes sweeping through the industry on his website, The Watershed Chronicle. This book is a timeline of that writing, and a description of his journey through exploring traditional work after the disruption, trying out new online alternatives and finally settling on what he believes is the best course.
The publishing industry has changed in the past five years in more ways than it had in the previous century, and it’s not over yet. This book chronicles one of the most tumultuous periods in the industry’s history from the eyes of someone in the middle of it, one that has seen massive revenue losses, layoffs and a dynamic shift in the attitudes and reading habits of the public. It is a period that may well be looked back on as the beginning of the end of the traditional ways of doing business.
Have a happy holiday from Watershed Publications with two new entries in the Watershed Tales series!
Just in time for Christmas, here are two new entrants in the Watershed Tales line of short fiction from author Dan Meadows.
Reporters and war correspondents regularly put themselves in harm’s way all in the name of journalism, ratings and informing the people. Most times, things work out; sometimes they go horribly wrong. When a military madman rises to power in a former Russian province after the collapse of the Soviet Union, threatening Moscow and London with some old Soviet nukes he’d managed to get his hands on, it looks like the story of the century.
A bevy of reporters from all the major news agencies in the world make their way through the war-torn countryside in pursuit of an exclusive. But when they find what they’re looking for, these newsmen discover that instead of covering the story, they are about to become it.
Isolation can do strange things to a person, and there can be no place more alone than the depths of space. Duane’s an astronaut on a 20-year mission to test technology for mankind’s greatest exploration ever. His ship, being fully automated, leaves him with lots of time to fill. The large garden that provides his food, water and oxygen for the journey is his only distraction from the tedium.
But several years into his mission, he loses contact with Earth. The constant loneliness begins to dredge up memories of his unhappy past, and the garden that provides not only the elements for his survival but also his sanity, is threatened. Will Duane find within himself what it takes to survive and make it back home or will he be lost forever?
This edition of Watershed Tales also includes a short bonus tale, Travis Walton Never Had It So Bad, a story of planetary exploration and how very wrong things can go.
The first three in an ongoing series of individually published, longer-form (5,000+ words) short stories from Dan Meadows is now available for sale. Each tale is a independent stand alone story for only 99 cents. Here are the first three in the series:
The Long Walk
What happens when your conscience is over-ridden by your orders? Is it better to simply do as your told, even when you find the actions abhorrent? And if you do, despite your better judgment, what kind of consequences will follow, if any?
In The Long Walk, a young cavalryman gets assigned the duty of escorting some particularly violent prisoners to their place of execution. The manner planned for the deaths of the condemned is particularly horrible, but no one questions their actions or orders until it’s far too late. Honor doesn’t supersede duty in the unforgiving desert, and the results are severe.
Kingdom of the Sick
It’s often been said that money can buy happiness, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, great wealth can create far more problems than it solves. For Ashley Blair, daughter of wealthy businessman Charles Blair, trouble and torment has been the story of her life.
The family home, and an almost ethereal garden hidden on the property, has been the one constant in her ever-shifting existence. Now that her father is nearing his own death, and the vultures of her siblings are circling to pick his bones for their inheritance, Ashe needs the solace of her childhood secret more than ever. But will she find that peace she desperately desires?
Faded Summer Leaves
You hear so much about the innocence of youth, but in truth, youth isn’t all that innocent. The same mean-spirited viciousness, rage and emotional trauma adults suffer through exists for the young, as well. And often, the lack of experience of youth amplifies the problem.
Growing up is a hard row to hoe sometimes, and for a small, scrawny little kid like Tommy, it can be even tougher. But everyone has their limits, even someone who you wouldn’t think could ever stand up for themselves. A group of young boys on an afternoon fishing excursion is the stuff of sweet anecdotes and quaint paintings. That is, until things go sour. On this particular day, Roy, the town bully, really should have kept his mouth shut.
Halloween is my absolute favorite time of year! It’s so much fun that I had to stretch it out into a two-week long celebration of all things creepy and frightening. Every day for 13 days leading up to Halloween, there is something scary good to do. In The Watershed Chronicle’s 13 Days of Halloween, there is a little something to entice even the most hardcore horror fan.
Horror is such a pervasive genre in our culture, and it’s all covered here. From the spookiest author ever, Edgar Allan Poe, to the most terrifying actor, Vincent Price, to the most ghoulishly brilliant director, Alfred Hitchcock, their best and most horrifying works are covered. There are real-life ghost stories, a look at where some of the most popular rituals of Halloween originated, and rundowns of the best movies, books and television horror stories ever devised. To top it off, there’s even some ghostly fiction, culminating in a never-before-published short story by yours truly.
October is a time of year like none other if you enjoy being scared out of your wits. But what happens in October doesn’t have to stay in October. Halloween is the best of all holidays, and there’s no reason you can’t celebrate year-round. This book can help. Happy Halloween!
Most of us dwell in the occasional bright places between the shadows, trying to find a few rays of light to lead us out from the darkness. But all too often, the undefined gloom becomes as a black hole, so dark with such a gravitational pull that no light can break through the veil, leaving us to only stumble around without clarity or vision.
And once we become trapped, unable to see the way, we discover that there are other things in the dark with us.
Strange (adj) 1. Of another place, foreign, alien 2. Not previously known or experienced 3. Quite unusual or extraordinary 4. Peculiar, odd 5. Distant, cold in manner
Some of these things in the dark with us are benign or even friendly, fellow travelers just searching for the path home. But there are the others, malignant and evil, that use the dark to prey on the lost and helpless. Those are the ones you need to watch out for because, sometimes, lost in the blackness, you can’t tell the difference.
This book is a collection of 13 tales of people getting caught in the dark, and whether or not they can find light enough to escape it. Violence, madness and death await those that fail, and sometimes, they’re the lucky ones. Being trapped in the dark can be terrifying, you can pull yourself together and find a way out or you can collapse in on yourself, lost forever. These tales are like guideposts, a path through the dark where some have fallen by the wayside.
But before you start reading, you have to ask yourself one simple question, are you afraid of the dark?
Watershed Publications’ Debut Release! Bad Timing: A Collection of Short Fiction by author Dan Meadows
Life is hard. We’re all broke these days, struggling to make ends meet. Our money is burning through us faster than we can earn it, eaten up by our credit card interest, balloon payments on the mortgage, or upwardly spiraling gas prices. Then your car breaks down.
You’re girlfriend is cheating on you with the guy she met at the gym, or you’ve caught you’re husband fooling around with his secretary. The kids just got suspended for something they put on their Facebook page, and you’re dog got sick and died, but not before ringing up four grand in vet bills. Then next week, the company you work for is set to start downsizing.
We’re all living through the 21st century version of the Great Depression, and you have to take off your shoes to get on a plane. But here are twenty-five stories about people who, whatever your problems, are much worse off. There are bodies to hide, ghostly Indians out for blood, cannibalistic homeless people, ever-present blizzards, soul-crushing isolation, loneliness, man-eating trees and much more.
So the next time you start complaining about your cell phone bill, or the dent left in your car door at the grocery store parking lot, remember that you’re not one of these folks. Life is still hard, but it could always be worse.
Buy Bad Timing in the Format of Your Choice
Reader Response to Bad Timing
“Wow, this is some really depressing stuff. It’s great!” — Ron Kroger, Misery, PA
“This book is offensive on many different levels. We should be focusing on the good in people’s lives, especially in these trying times. However, after reading this, I did find that my concerns over money vanished.” — Joy Shirley, President, Council for Positivity
“And I thought my stuff was bleak.” — Edgar Allan Poe, Third Circle, Hell
“There is just no way Jesus would drive drunk. I found that to be incredibly disturbing. But other that that, good book.” — Rev. James McSherry
“I was planning to off myself last Tuesday, but then I read this book and realized that I should just quit whining. Things aren’t that bad.” — Harry Kiry, Melancholy, MD
* Author does not guarantee the reality of the above referenced quotes, or that the people in question actually exist.