Thursday, March 12, 2015

"The Sea of Wives" at PodCastle

My dark little selkie story is up now at PodCastle!  (First new publication to actually hit in like forever.)

Basically, I'm relatively fond of selkies as a concept anyway, and then I read an article about the culture and conditions surrounding Alaskan fishing trawlers and went "Hmm."

Dave Thompson had specifically requested I send it to him, and then I found out he was planning to leave the editorship of PodCastle, so this is sort of a farewell on several levels.  Best of luck, Dave!  We love you, man.

I hope everyone enjoys the story regardless.

- Nathan

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Malfunctions

Timothy turned on the tap.

“The water isn’t working right,” said Betty.

And it wasn’t.  It flowed out of the tap and down to the sink, clear and cold to the touch, but it wouldn’t get anything wet.  He added coffee grounds to the filter holder and they just hovered in the middle of the fluid, undampened.

He glared at Betty, sipping blithely from her mug as she sat at the table.  “How did you get yours, then?”

Betty shrugged, then indicated the dark gouge in the wall behind her.  It dripped, glistening wet.  “The bricks aren’t working right, either.”

Friday, December 19, 2014

A House, Haunted

We spent the night in a haunted house.  We didn’t have to.  No one forced us.  We’re not sure now why we did.

There were no horrifying apparitions.  No blood dripped slowly from the ceiling.  Nothing moaned or whispered.  No fingers clutched or trailed softly down the soft hairs along our arms.  The house was musty and damp, and we slept fitfully, fearfully, expectantly.

Nothing at all happened.

Except when we opened the door to leave and found only another hallway stretching off into the dark and distance, smelling of age and mildew.

We spend nights in a haunted house.


---

Part of the Advent Ghosts annual event at I Saw Lightning Fall.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Morning After the Sun Did Not Rise

The bed hovered over the immeasurable void. Kinny and I hadn't worked up the courage to enter it yet. A chill wind blew up from beneath, and all around was blackness.

Somewhere, a dog barked.

“Pretty sure it’s your turn to let her out,” Kinny said.

“If our carpet rematerializes, I will clean any mess off of it with gusto and verve,” I assured her.

“I’m going to brave the unknown. How different is it from any other morning, really?”

I strained with all my might and manifested my pink fuzzy slippers.  "Hold on," I said.  "I'm coming with you."

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Squid of Despair


The Squid of Despair takes up most of the living room now. Its muddy, brown-­gray skin saps the brightness from the room, or perhaps simply highlights the lack already there. It rolls a dinner-plate­-sized eye at me as I step over its sprawled tentacles. I kick it. It does not respond.

“You should just get rid of that thing, man,” says Cal. The Hummingbird of Whimsy flits around his head, while the spiny Scorpion of Sarcasm lurks on his shoulder.

The Squid lifts one tentacle, then drops it, limply, on my lap. Because of this, I cannot kick Cal, too.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Hunting

He fills in the crossword while he waits. He does not skulk in bushes, not anymore, not since he learned about Starbucks; cafes; newspapers. He shaves often, especially during the week of the full moon. Hunting is a mental state as much as an action. He sips his coffee, wincing at the bitterness. He writes an answer in the little boxes: “TEETH.” He has filled in all of the answers this way. He likes teeth. He wonders when she will emerge from the building down the street.  He wonders what she will think of his teeth, when she sees them.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Purity

Count Darigon cackled as the Sword refused to budge. “I know you, King Amberion,” he rasped.  "You are a thoughtful leader and a complicated man. You are good. But the Sword can be wielded only by the pure of heart. Can you truly say that you have never sinned, never fallen short?”

Amberion’s grip on the hilt slackened perceptibly. Darigon grinned.  Behind Amberion, Kailen snorted. She strode forward, snatched up the Sword, and lopped Darigon’s head off.

“I’m not a good person,” she told his stunned expression as his head rolled on the ground. “But I know what I want.”