PodCastle Miniature 55: Ghost Market

by Greg van Eekhout

Read by Kane Lynch

Originally published in the Paper Cities anthology

Every third Tuesday of the month, they hold the ghost market beneath the Washington Street Bridge. You have to get there early if you want the best bargains, before the sun has a chance to warm the day.

“Hey, you wanna be a red-hot lover boy?”

I shrug. “Who doesn’t?”

Behind a folding table, in a stall built of PVC pipe and crinkled blue tarp, she’s shaped like a Willendorf Venus in a Che Guevara T-shirt. “Some people are scared to be red-hot lover boys,” she says, showing me an apparently empty beer bottle sealed with wax. “I knew this one personally. He was my neighbor. He fathered seventeen kids. Energetic, you know?” She winks. “He was in the act when his heart exploded.”

“How romantic,” I say, taking the bottle and holding it up to the gray-lilac sky. There’s nothing to see inside. “But that doesn’t sound like red-hot lover boy to me. It’s more like horny-old-man-who-wouldn’t-give-his-wives-a-break boy.”

Rated R: Violence and Disturbing Themes