by Greg van Eekhout
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.”
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
Kane Lynch graduated from UC Santa Cruz and now lives in Berkeley, CA.