Fran Tabor’s ‘The Greatest Danger’ in Writers Co-op Production’s The Rabbit Hole Weird Stories Destination:Journey Anthology

I asked fellow The Rabbit Hole Weird Stories Destination:Journey anthology contributors to share some things about themselves prior to publication and those generous enough to do so will be appearing here for the next week or so.

Each entry gives a taste of their contribution, a little about them, how to contact them, how their story came about, and definitely a link to The Rabbit Hole Weird Stories Destination:Journey (which you should purchase because it would make each and every one of us happy.
you do want to make us happy, don’t you?
i mean, considering what we wrote, you want us to know you’re a good person, right?).

Let’s start with an introduction to the anthology as a whole:

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Emerson’s point has been echoed by many, but in the Land of the Weird the question arises, “A journey to what destination?” At the same time, you might ask, “Is the journey therefore the destination?” The journey may well be an individual’s destination, because it will define them physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And in the Land of the Weird, that journey can take twists and turns that amuse, sadden, or horrify.
This trip into the Land of the Weird offers you 39 unique trails to follow, assisted by 35 different guides, each leading you down their own singular paths, manifesting their own view of journey as destination, some laughing, some weeping, and some, eyes wide with fear, shaking as they point out the spectral footpath for you to follow on your way down The Rabbit Hole.

A Writers Co-op Production
Stories by: Chere Taylor, Brian R. Quinn, Arthur M. Doweyko, Donna J. W. Munro, Tom Howard, Kayla Whittle, Leslie Muzingo, Pete Barnstrom, Emmie Christie, Thomas Nicholson, GD Deckard, Richard DeRobertis, M.C. Schmidt, James Dorr, Rosalind Goldsmith, Margaret Karmazin, J.W.Wood, James Rumpel, Bill McCormick, v.f. thompson, Fran Tabor, David K. Slay, Joseph Carrabis, Jane Frankel, Alice Baburek, Susan R. Morritt, Bobby Rollins, Lee Clark Zumpe, Denice Penrose, Stephen McQuiggan, H. Donovan Lyón, Anna Ross, Michael Pudney, Beth Gaydon, and Tom Wolosz.

Fran’s contribution is The Greatest Danger. Here’s the opening:

The front doorbell’s five-alarm-fire ring killed Sue-Ellen’s dream. She glanced at her alarm clock. “Two freaking a.m.”


     Our neighbor’s bratty kids promised no more doorbell games, Ever.


Sue-Ellen slapped the empty mattress beside her, demanded her husband do something… She sat up, fully alert. Her husband Todd and teenage son Evan were on a school sponsored camping trip, a Warrior’s Way ceremony. If something bad happened, there would be no phone calls; it would be an in person visit, no matter the time.
Pajama clad, not bothering to grab her robe, she ran downstairs; twisted the bolt lock open, flung the door wide.
Mrs. Elizabeth “Betsy” Smith stood alone. Betsy wore the same frumpy skirt and big-pocketed cardigan as she had the previous day when Sue-Ellen announced, “Congratulations, you are the new kindergarten teacher.”

How the story came about:
A true event inspired this story. Her oldest daughter heads a thriving Montessori school. The school continuously seeks great teachers. The best interviewee had marvelous references. Her daughter exchanged multiple emails with each reference. She looked up the most interesting one… He died the year before their email exchanges. After notifying the authorities about the attempted fraud, she lamented to Fran, “The woman was wonderful!” Naturally, Fran imagined an alternate-universe, time-traveling explanation how a wonderful teacher could accidentally have a dead person write a reference. Awesome editor Curtis Bausse polished Fran’s idea into a gem worthy of this anthology.

About Fran Tabor:
From second grade on, Fran dreamed of becoming a scientist. Fascination with how eyes work led to reading about photons, which led to a lifelong love of astronomy.
Life happens. Her desire to unravel the universe’s secrets took a back seat to joining the family business – but the excitement she gleans from the latest scientific discoveries has never abated. Fran brings her lifelong love affair with “What if —?” speculations to everything she writes.
A true event inspired this story. Her oldest daughter recruits Montessori teachers. Her daughter exchanges multiple emails with each reference… One teacher’s reference died the year before their email exchanges.
Naturally, Fran asked, “What if those emails had intersected an alternate universe in which the reference were still alive?”
Awesome editor Curtis Bausse polished Fran’s idea into a gem worthy of this anthology.

See all The Rabbit Hole Weird Stories Destination:Journey stories here.