Rejected is an anthology with one common thread- every story in it was submitted and rejected. The forward lays it all out- how an author feels when they get a rejection letter, the reasons why an author could be rejected and so on.
Elements- The first story in our journey comes from Jo-Anne Russell. Her story is about Lily, a local witch who has learned to survive even though the pitchfork wielding locals are nearby. We find Lily setting up for a ritual demanded by a local woman. Sacrifices are a necessity you know.
Lewis and the Brain Tumor- Ken MacGregor introduces us to Lewis, who just learned he has a brain tumor. The usual schlock follows and we're left with the promise of refrigerator lights and ham sandwiches that cause death. Hulk make appointment.
The Promise of Ale- Walter Rhein's story is of a Swordreaver and his apprentice in a tavern. Quinn teaches Auryn a few life lessons as a part of his training. Life lessons that include mixing beer with hookers.
The Redness at the Edge of the Sore- Roy C. Booth and Axel Kohagen tell a tale about a no name man who serves as a look out for body dumps. He has his routine and his hobbies, but he's always there by the phone.
Blue Kansas Sky- Randy Attwood gives us a story about a snooker hall in Kansas. You can't want it too much or it will hurt too much when it goes wrong.
Seeing the Future- Rose Blackthorn spins the story of Chiron. Chiron got a little too smart and a little too self absorbed into the world outside his home. Look too closely at the details and not at everything around you and you'll find yourself in a vast nothingness.
A Simple Device- Jack Campbell Jr shows what happens when you have a little too much a little too often. You find yourself in a hotel with a gym bag strapped to your neck.
American Death- Joseph J. Patchen gives an interesting take on death. QVC must be proud.
Changeover- Rose Strickman tells us of the Changeover and new beginnings. How did the goats get on the roof?
And He Bought a Crooked Cat- Fraser Sherman's wind of change comes from the hidden message in nursery rhymes. Knock it off before they summon the plague.
Eli's Coming- David Perlmutter.....you know what? No. I have no f*#^ing clue what I just read, so I'm not even going to bother. Holy f@%k me!
Glass Beads- Emily Martha Sorensen predicts that aliens will some day Island of Manhattan us.
The Skin Crawler- Glen Damien Campbell proves that you really should be leery of the extreme weirdos at college.
Hellfire- D.L. Turpin shows how to handle snake oil evangelists.
In the Shadow of Xerxes Canal- Constance A. Brewer gives a slice of Egyptian life during the building of a canal. The moral of the story echoes trough the ages- be careful when stepping on the little people.
Labyrinth of the Undead- Carl Thomas Fox gives us a vampire story with stupid teenagers who wind up as vampire shredded wheat.
New York's All Right (If You Like Saxophones)- Marie Michaels introduces us to Ruby, who seems to be on a search for the older version of New York. How do you move forward to the next step?
She Is My Nicotine- Z.S. Rose shows how bored unsatisfied housewives get revenge in the modern age.
Saving the Flock- Stuart Conover presents another angle on the end of days where hell is full and the dead are walking. Like most preachers, Father O'Brian feels he knows what's best for his congregation and refuses to see what's in front of him or take advice offered to him. See what shortsightedness gets you?
Homecoming- Benjamin Sperduto shows two sides of the same story. There's a tree, a shadow realm and things aren't where they belong, nor should they be spoken of.....
The Blind Watchman- Paul Williams shows a future where there is a race of beings, that while blind, have a intense sense of smell. One such "sniffer" is used to help locate a series of devices that are being used to unseat the economic balance. Everyone has a choice.
The Cleaners- Amanda Northrup Mays teaches us what happens when you mess with the maintenance people at work. Think twice before you get bitchy about something being moved to where you didn't leave it. Just put it where you want it and get on with your life.
The Crystal Blue Feather- Judi Calhoun gives a tale of hope and revenge. Or is it revenge that leads to hope?
The Pimple on Silverman's Ass- Ken Goldman introduces us to Howard Silverman, a high school English teacher who develops a problem on his ass. Then his ass develops a problem with him. A new twist on body snatching.
The Vines- Thomas Van Boening's tale of Blake and Valerie is a damsel in distress story with some Army of Darkness smushed into it.
Three Prom Dresses- Priya Sridhar's story is about demonic mothers, bonsai's that bend space and time, sewing and memory loss.
Threefold- Adam Zakeski presents troll, hunter and pizza delivery dude. Thump.
To The Winners Go The Spoils- Tim McDaniel presents something that reads like an Everquest raid, complete with loot whoring.
Two Shades of White- Franklin Charles Murdock gives a story of life, death and forgiveness. The cuts and bruises you can't see are always the most painful.
A Warror's Second Chance- Ramsey "Tome Wyrm" Lundock tells about second chances and the changes they can bring about.
With the Wind- Kevin Bannigan Jr gives a cautionary tale of what happens when someone isn't paying attention. Traumatic Bran Injury?
Your Old Life the Dream- T. Fox Dunham provides a take on the zombie apocalypse where it's hard to tell what's real, what's a dream and what's the best way to get the Good Humor man to shut the hell up.
Zyka's Last Escape- Gwen Veazey gives us the future where the Earth is being slowly destroyed, people are taking refuge in Antarctica and escaping into virtual reality to forget.
The Christmas Shepherd- Andrew M. Seddon gives a nice warm Christmas story where a police dog finds it's former owner and helps him figure out that maybe giving up on life isn't the way to go.
Life, Death and Resurrect- Naching T. Kassa's take on the zombie apocalypse proves that meth really is more dangerous than people realize. Bonus- salt!
Grandma Hartley's Angel Earring- Our final story comes from Shenoa Carroll-Bradd. Her story is one of a family heirloom and the powers it has. And the curse it could have. The story ends before we know which.
This anthology was an interesting concept and I'm glad I got the chance to read it, regardless of what you read above.