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Garrett Calcaterra

Garrett Calcaterra, Author of Umbral Visions Garrett Calcaterra lives on the west coast, eking out a living as a writer and teacher. He is the author of several forthcoming books and has published dozens of short stories, articles, and reviews in a wide variety of genres and styles, though more often than not, he leans toward writing dark speculative fiction. When not writing, he enjoys hiking with his two dogs and quaffing good beer.

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2010 Top Ten P&E Award, Garrett Calcaterra, Umbral Visions Congratulations, Garrett, for winning second place in the 2010 Preditors and Editors Readers Poll!

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Umbral Visions by Garrett Calacterra


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Umbral Visions by Garrett Calcaterra

Twenty years after he left, Dedrick Hearne returns to the once opulent Victorian style mansion where he grew up—and where his childhood friend, Penny, disappeared without a trace. In each room of the labyrinthine mansion Dedrick finds answers to the puzzle, but at the cost of reliving the horrific childhood he has put behind him. The only way to save himself and find out what happened to Penny is to unlock the doors of his family's past... The Key Ring.

After a freak accident leaves star athlete Damon Cody paralyzed from the neck down, Damon turns to writing tales of a vigilante super hero with the voice-recognition software his two life-long friends, Brad and Hayley, have given him. When the vigilante acts from Damon's stories start happening in real life, though, Brad and Hayley must uncover the identity of the vigilante before he turns on them all... The Shadow.
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Umbral Visions
    Never throw away a key. That’s a habit I picked up from Uncle Ormund. It’s some twenty years since I last saw him and I’ve still got two key rings: the everyday one for my house and car keys, and the big one—the kind you see janitors toting around—with close to a hundred keys on it. Some I still use occasionally. A few others I still remember what they once unlocked. The rest are lost in the dusty, cobweb-filled vaults of my memory. Of the ones I remember, there’s the set to our San Francisco condo we rent out and the storage space we still have there in the City; the ones from Erica’s old apartment, and mine; the spare to my wheelie-happy, three cylinder Kawasaki she made me sell after I ran it through a stop sign post and fractured the ulna in my right arm; the padlock key I stole to the cafeteria ice-cream freezer at Stoneridge Academy; and probably a dozen ancient-looking warded keys from the Hearne estate.
     In the dream I had last week, I was trying to find this key ring.
     Grams was lying on the bed, beckoning me closer for a kiss. There were mealworms in her mouth and eyes, and skin was tightening in from the walls and ceiling all around me. I tried running, but my legs were mired in that invisible bog that always slows you to near paralysis in dreams. I was slipping downward towards Grams’ maw, a gaping pit of chains, shit, and blood. I grasped out for anything to hold on to and found a doorknob. Summoning some unfound strength, I pulled myself through the doorway and slammed the door shut behind me. The shadows from Gram’s tentacles projected beneath the door. I ran to my desk and fumbled through the drawers.
     You can’t leave her locked in there forever, Uncle Ormund suddenly says to me, but then he turns to dust.
     I finally find the key ring and turn to face the doorway . . .and that’s when I woke up.
     “You didn’t hear a word I just said, did you, Dedrick?” my wife asked me.
     I was standing in my study—my real study—between my drafting table and desk, only in my underwear, with the big key ring in hand. Erica was standing at the doorway where she must’ve just flipped on the lights. It’d been years since she last found me sleepwalking. It’d been years since I had a dream I remembered. I don’t know what she made of it. All she said was, “I’m going back to bed.” Me? I knew something was wrong.
     In the morning I got the call from the Lake County coroner’s office saying that Uncle Ormund had died of heart failure.                      Back to Umbral Visions