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Fantastic Shorts

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An enchanted bookstore in a town full of magic.A story of childhood and best friends revisited.A town forced to face the music.A modern myth from a land before time.A charming collision of numbers and magic.Unwelcome change in a land of dragons.

In this second fantasy short story collection from Kari Kilgore, she visits lands familiar and strange, mythological and fantastic.

From Allsentia to Appalachia to Atlanta, from modern mythology to dragons to joys of distant childhood.

Join this talented storyteller on a journey through magical bookstores and haunted towns, lands lost in time and friendships forged across new dimensions.

Includes Odds and Endings, Dawn Visitor, The Earworms, The Spider Who Ate the Elephant, Little Five, and The Last Dragonkeeper.

Odds and EndingsVisit an enchanted bookstore in a town full of magic.Chris Ramsey grew up visiting the Odds and Endings Bookstore in Lightning Gap, Virginia.Wandering the shelves. Finding endless adventures in the pages.Wishing he helped create the magic.Years later, Chris gets his chance.What would you do for the opportunity of a lifetime?

Dawn VisitorA beloved dog brings a special gift, especially to a young girl’s life.One that lasts and endures no matter how many years pass.Toby welcomes Ellie home as only a first best friend can.A touching story of childhood and best friends revisited.

The EarwormsWhat if your whole town had to face the music?Estonoa, Virginia. A lovely little town tucked deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains.Hiking and ATV trails. Kayaking along the scenic Clinch River.A thriving community focused on the future.Erin Evans loves her hometown, except for one thing.The Earworms.Will Erin find the answer before the music drives her and everyone else crazy?

The Spider Who Ate the ElephantA Modern Myth. An eerie natural phenomenon.In the distant past, in a distant land…Grandmother Spider faces a sad problem far too big and difficult for her to solve.The end of her family and all the creatures in her land.Find out how her triumph echoes from then to now, and into forever.A tale of compassion, survival, and love.

Little FiveBarry Evans: An oddball in the oddest land of all.A gray-suited accountant navigating colorful hair, crazy clothing, and questionable businesses.After three months in Little Five, nothing surprises Barry anymore.Until the day he meets a true stranger in town.What happens when numbers meet magic?

The Last DragonkeeperWyja, Senior Dragonkeeper of the Upper Abramshire Academy, tends to young dragons and keepers alike.Each group challenging, and exhausting, in their own way.Unwelcome change sets in when dragon birthrates drop to dangerous levels.No one knows why.Can Wyja solve the problem before it’s too late?

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Introduction
Introduction The stories in Fantastic Shorts: Volume 2 cover a wide range of inspirations and times in my writing life. Several of them are only the beginning of much bigger worlds that I’m excited to explore and share. It also includes two very short stories of under 1,500 words—which is unusual for me—and finishes up with one that’s a touch over 10,000 words. Odds and Endings is a perfect example of a larger world than I expected when I wrote it in 2018. Since I first visited the magical bookstore, I’ve realized the source of all that magic is the town of Lightning Gap itself. The town is big and strong enough to not only hold several stories so far, but several genres and lengths, from Romance to Science Fiction, and from more short stories to an upcoming novel with more to come. Dawn Visitor, on the other hand, is the recreated version of the first short story I ever wrote, going back nearly thirty years to the early Nineties. I say recreated because that was an era when I ignored my own very good advice to back up your computer, and the original disappeared into a bricked hard drive. I first wrote it after waking from a dream of the first two dogs I had when I was in elementary school. That dream took me right back to that time and those feelings, and this very short story was the result. I’ve read Dawn Visitor out loud for groups several times, and I’m proud to publish it here for the first time. The Earworms was an assignment in a Fantasy writing workshop a few years back. Out of all the options available, I chose to have my hometown get attacked by music. I had an unreasonable amount of fun letting the songs help me tell this story. All I’ll say is I actually like a few of them, but I’ll join most people in intensely disliking the rest. My apologies in advance if any of them work their way into your brain. These folks may very well appear in a future story crossing over into another of my fictional worlds. The Spider Who Ate the Elephant started out as a prompt at another writing workshop. I can’t remember any of the others on the list, but the writing machine in my head lit up as soon as I saw what turned out to be the title of the story. It’s another very short piece like Dawn Visitor, with perhaps a similar melancholy feel. I wrote the whole thing in less than an hour, in one of those creative bursts that leave you breathless. Several years later in 2019, I entered it into competition in The Golden Nib, the annual contest from The Virginia Writers Club. Much to my surprise, my local group chose it as their entry for the statewide competition, and much to my delight, it ended up placing second in the state in Fiction. I’m publishing it here for the first time. You never know where that writing prompt that strikes you will end up! Little Five is a follow-up to my short story Terminalia, which I didn’t expect to have any kind of sequel. That’s a pattern I’m noticing more and more in my writing, and I’m having all kinds of fun with unexpected sequels lately. In this case, I tuned in to the obvious location for interdimensional visitors in Atlanta, especially in my fond memories of living there in the Nineties. Yes, I do expect there will be more stories involving Terminalia Travel in my future. The Last Dragonkeeper was my first foray into alternate world fantasy, and it was so much fun I’ve returned to it several times since. I had a blast taking the dragon lore I’d grown up with and twisting bits and pieces of it into different shapes and sizes. For the dragons themselves, I consulted my youngest nephew, and his contributions added what turned out to be the central turning point of the story. I hope we’ll get to work together on more tales of Allsentia and many other worlds in the future. And I hope you’ll enjoy reading this new collection of fantasy short stories as much as I enjoyed writing them and putting this together. There are definitely more to come. To learn more about me and find other short stories, along with novellas, novels, and collections, visit www.karikilgore.com. If you want to keep up with what I’m doing next, get free stories, and read exclusive content not available anywhere else, be sure to check out The Confidential Adventure Club. Both the Lightning Gap universe and the Terminalia universe have what I sometimes call DVD Extras that I’m happy to share with club members as fast as I can write them. Head over to www.confidentialadventureclub.com to join in the fun! And last but certainly not least, thank you for your support of me and my writing. It means the world to me and keeps me coming back to tell the next tale.

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