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Musings on a Collection of Cryptids

Atlin Merrick Cryptid Anthology

Moon, spokes cryptid for the cryptid anthology Dark Cheer

I've always loved cool-creepy cryptid stories.

That's why Improbable Press is doing a cryptid anthology in 2021, and why I encourage you to submit a story (after checking out our guidelines above).

What I'm encouraging me to do is read again, about these creatures I loved so much as a kid. The Loch Ness monster (Nessie, I still have the artwork I drew of you when I was eleven!), Bigfoot (you're famous in Oregon, where I used to live), and jackalopes (hello Moon, spokes cryptid for our pending anthology).

Do I believe in these creatures? Yes. Also no. See, it's like this: in the 1840s  scientists sometimes hid the bones of dinosaurs they found, certain no one would believe this evidence that seemed to say giant creatures once roamed the earth.

I want to think that things like that could happen now, that over the years people have found small strange things, or big confusing things, and figured… "Well, no one's going to believe this so I'll just put it up in the attic for now." Then, like an old manuscript discovered after someone passes away, we may any day now find evidence of Ebu gogo, the Beast of Exmoor, or the Lagarfljót Worm tucked away in the world's attics.

The point isn't if it's likely, for me it's the imagining. It's the gleeful daydreams about "the faintest chance" of finding such creatures and, to paraphrase zoologist Gerald Durrell, relishing what a windfall such discoveries would be in this shrinking world.

For most of us space is a final frontier we'll never cross, but every last one of us can gaze into a dark, still lake. Every last one of us can watch the shadows flitting in a dense wood. Every last one of us can look to the sky at night and wonder if we saw something fly swiftly by that was big, or oddly bright, with eye-shine and hands, or a strange call that calls us.

These are the imaginings I've loved since I was a girl and these are the sort of imaginings I hope you'll share with us in a story for our anthology.

When you look up into the sky or wade into water or walk in the woods – what do you see? What do you want to see?

Call for Submissions: "Dark Cheer" Cryptids Anthology
Speak for Yourself
Book Peek: Strangest Day So Far

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