Urban Harvest: Tales of the Paranormal in New York City
Urban fantasy short story collection for charity
edited by Donna Ansari
Published September 22nd 2013
YA urban fantasy
Maire Keating returns home for Thanksgiving break only to discover her father has disappeared. Could his abusive life finally caught up to him? During her days off from school Maire also reconnects with childhood friend Colton. Through him, she discovers a secret world involving ghosts, a ship, and the guilty answering for their transgressions. Could a local city urban legend actually have some truth? Maire has to decide if she has the strength to find out.
Mom is painting again. Her sketchbook sits on the coffee table in front of a futon. A futon? Go, Mom! Curiosity makes me pry her artist’s pad open. Captured across its pages are abstract drawings: A shadow huddled in a corner. A raised fist. Close-ups of blackened eyes. Stitches mapped across cheeks and chins.
She never asked for help. My mother documents her abuse in charcoal. Quickly, I glance up at the canvas and sigh. A life-sized scarecrow hangs crookedly in a small field of sunflowers. Scribbled in the lower right-hand corner is her signature—her maiden name.
Something is off about that scarecrow.
The blue flannel shirt looks like the one Dad always wears. The garden seems familiar. I observe the identical scene—directly outside.
A well-stuffed scarecrow hangs stiffly from a pole in front of a field of withering sunflowers, many ravaged by crows. The shirt is big enough to fit my father. Underneath is a faded white undershirt.
I press close enough to the pane to see my breath. A wood chipper stands by the decrepit barn, a mound of mulch beside it.
“It’s official, you know,” Siobhan states, folding her arms across her chest. I didn’t hear her come in. “Mom finally reported him missing. It’s been two weeks. The police suspect he abandoned us for another woman. His truck’s gone too. Mr. O’Malley says Dad hasn’t stopped by for a beer in fifteen days. Uncle Derek and Aunt Deidre are running the business.”
"Nine authors and nine very different tales of the paranormal–that’s what you get in this spooky anthology! I love how anthologies let you get so many different short tales; even though there’s a similar paranormal theme, it’s fun to see read how widely different each tale is. I liked all the stories although a few more than others and the tales individually range from a 3 out of 5 to a 5 out of 5 for me. I’m recommending this to those who enjoy reading about the paranormal in short bursts! Overall, this anthology is a 4 out of 5 for me!
“Wished Away”–horror, ghosts, romance, college girl returning home to abusive household and getting a welcome surprise (one of my favorites in the anthology)."
- Lori Palle, Goodreads
"Very Enjoyable. The stories were fun. scary and just what I was looking for. I absolutely recommend this book for anyone who wants to be a little scared"
- Debbie M, Amazon
"Loved these short stories set in NY, where I grew up, and recognized the sights and sounds in the voices of the authors. Very compelling stories. Well done!"
- Bklynj, Amazon