Rated R for the fashion woes inflicted by Adam Ant and complicated relationships.
The Hag Queen’s Curse
by M.K. Hobson
1986. Salty’s. Newport, Oregon.
Colored shadows from the square-tiled disco floor flash against finger-grimed black walls. There is a mirror ball and a pair of cute bartenders who are always squabbling. Two tall Marshall stacks in each corner thump out a beat you can feel all along Bay Boulevard. Jeff and Kat come down to Salty’s every Saturday night because in Newport Oregon in 1986 there’s nothing else to do on a Saturday night if you haven’t the taste for pickup trucks, country music, and mullets.
Always the same people. Skinny transient boys with names like Etienne and Colby; they spasm on the dance floor, get up intrigues in dark corners, pass little plastic packages of white powder from hand to hand. Always the same music: Adam Ant, Depeche Mode, Dead or Alive, Culture Club, The Cure. Always the same table, the wobbly dark one in the back with the red glass candleholder. Kat likes to dip her black fingernails in the melted wax and then peel it off like dead skin. It creeps Jeff out.
Jeff dresses preppy in pastel Izods and pressed chinos. He drinks pina coladas and saves the paper umbrellas. Kat wears black, sips Manhattans through crimson-painted lips, and smokes clove cigarettes in a long jeweled holder.
Every Saturday, it’s the same.
Until the pirate.
About the Author
M.K. Hobson recently decided to follow a time-honored authorial tradition and become a bitter recluse. She swore off all social media and left her website to go to seed. At the moment, she exists only as a voice on short fiction podcasts such as Podcastle and Cast of Wonders. She leavens the tedium of her vastly expanded free time with misanthropy, paranoia, and weight lifting.
About the Narrator
Christiana Ellis is an award-winning writer and podcaster, currently living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her podcast novel, Nina Kimberly the Merciless was both an inaugural nominee for the 2006 Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction: Long Form, as well as a finalist for a 2006 Podcast Peer Award. Nina Kimberly the Merciless is available in print from Dragon Moon Press. Christiana is also the writer, producer and star of Space Casey, a 10-part audiodrama miniseries which won the Gold Mark Time Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Production by the American Society for Science Fiction Audio and the 2008 Parsec Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Drama. In between major projects, Christiana is also the creator and talent of many other podcast productions including Talking About Survivor, Hey, Want to Watch a Movie?and Christiana’s Shallow Thoughts.