Joshua Williams’ “Circle of Oaks” now in Rabbit Hole V anthology

I’m lucky enough to have my work included in The Rabbit Hole Volume 5: Just…Plain…Weird anthology along with quite a group of talented authors. I especially love the teaser

Welcome to the Rabbit Hole. On our fifth excursion into the warren of the odd, 37 authors lead us down their own little burrows of strangeness : an army of penguins, music that cures, aliens that communicate through old cartoons, images of the future that save, unwanted visions of the now, and, oh yes, it is raining lawyers. All have one thing in common, they are just…plain…weird.
Weird can be funny, weird can be sad, weird can be thoughtful, weird can be mad, but the one thing in common is that weird shares experiences you have, thankfully, never had.
Just be careful, all little bunnies are not nice, but they are memorable.

About the Author
Joshua Williams is a course editor who scribbles stories whenever he can. Typically writing horror or speculative fiction, he has been published in the online magazines Jakob’s Horror Box and Dark Fire Fiction, as well as in the anthologies That One Left Shoe; Sorry, We’re Closed;; Unicorns vs. Clowns in Hell; and Rabbit Hole V. He can be found on Goodreads and quietly lurking on Twitter and Instagram.

How the stories came about?
I’d been interested in writing a fairy tale, or at least something a bit odd and different than horror or thrillers and more whimsical than serious, for a while leading up to Circle of Oaks. The campus where I work has a walking trail along a stream, and one day I was walking on lunch and passed a group of oak trees in a circle with two rows of hedges leading up to a rusted, flimsy arch. I started to think of a family who used the circle as a portal, and from there the random details—a talking rabbit, luminescent leaves, Wonderland-esque adventure—rapidly filled in the gaps of my story. It’s a story I wrote in short bursts over lunch to escape and decompress, and I hope every reader can fall into it the same way.

“I know, mum,” Cassie said as she spooned a dollop of golden honey into her bowl of oatmeal and stirred, the scent of cream and cinnamon tickling her nostrils. “Through the gate—”
“Arch,” her mother and grandmother chorused together.
Cassie sighed and continued, “Through the arch, then into the center and spin once clockwise and once the other.” Satisfied, she ate a dripping mound of oatmeal, coating her mouth in gooey sweetness.
“And don’t doddle once there,” her grandma Lily added. Lily stood at the counter chopping and peeling, tossing ingredient after ingredient into a massive, bubbling pot on the stove. “Doddle there and you’re apt to lose all sense of time. Why, I remember when Rose—”
“I know, grandmum. Don’t accept any offers, don’t eat anything, don’t drink anything, don’t put a foot out of line. In and out quick as a dormouse.”
“Be respectful, though,” her mother added. “The queen doesn’t take kindly to those in a rush to leave.”


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