The Osteomancer’s Son
by Greg van Eekhout
“What’s that?” I ask.
His smile reveals several gold teeth. “Come from dragon turtle. You see giant dragon turtle wash up in San Diego? You see that on news?”
“I’m not really up on current events.” Especially not as regurgitated by state-controlled news organizations.
He nods enthusiastically and edges more powder into the envelope. “This come from San Diego dragon turtle. Wife’s younger brother, he lifeguard. He scrape some turtle shell before Hierarch’s men confiscate whole carcass.”
“What’s it for?” I ask, indicating the powder-filled envelope.
“All sorts of stuff. Rheumatism, kidney stones, migraine, epilepsy, bedroom problems … All sorts.”
“No, thanks,” I say as I try to shoulder my way back into the crowd.
“Get you girls,” he calls after me. “Make you animal! Guaranteed!”
Dragon turtle can’t do any of those things, of course. Not that it’s genuine turtle he’s selling. I figure it for flour and sulfur, with maybe the tiniest pinch of rhinoceros horn thrown in. You can’t even put a street value on the genuine stuff these days.
I know. I’ve experienced the genuine stuff. It’s in my bones.
About the Author
Greg van Eekhout is the author of stories and novels for adults and middle-grade audiences. His work has been nominated for the Nebula, Andre Norton, and Locus Awards.
His most recent work is the Daniel Blackland trilogy from Tor Books — California Bones, Pacific Fire, and Dragon Coast — about wizards who get their powers from eating the bones of extinct magical creatures. “The Authenticator” and “The Osteomancer’s Son” (previously featured on PodCastle) take place in the Daniel Blackland universe.
About the Narrator
Ben Phillips is a programmer and musician living in New Orleans. He was a chief editor of Pseudopod from 2006-2010.