The Secret Beach
by Tim Pratt
I pushed through the overgrown shrubs, barely making out a trail, and reached the fence, where I found the chain-link had been cut apart and then re-closed with fuzzy pipe cleaners, green and red and blue. (Does anyone use pipe cleaners to clean their pipes anymore, or are they produced exclusively as arts and craft supplies for children?) I carefully untwisted them and squeezed through the gap, snagging my sagging belly-flesh on a sharp end of wire and sucking in a hiss of air through my teeth.
Once I was through, I stood up, under a sky that was noticeably bluer and more cloudless than the one on the other side of the fence, and stared at the closest thing on Earth to infinity:
The ocean. Or, at least, an ocean.
About the Author
Tim Pratt is the author of over twenty novels, including Heirs of Grace and forthcoming space opera The Wrong Stars. His short fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The Year’s Best Fantasy, The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, and other nice places. He’s a Hugo Award winner, and has been a finalist for World Fantasy, Sturgeon, Stoker, Mythopoeic, and Nebula Awards, among others. He lives in Berkeley CA and works as a senior editor at Locus, a trade magazine devoted to science fiction and fantasy publishing. For more than two years he’s been publishing a new story every month for supporters at patreon.com/timpratt. That’s where “Six Jobs” first appeared.
About the Narrator
Dave Thompson (also known as the Easter Werewolf) has written stories featured or forthcoming at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex Magazine, Bull Spec, Drabblecast, Pseudopod, and Escape Pod, and has lost NaNoWriMo twice. Once upon a time, he edited and hosted PodCastle with Anna Schwind, and stepped down to focus on his own writing in 2015. His collection of stories And Welcome Back released in 2016. He lives in Southern California with his wife and three children. Learn more about him on his website, or follow him on Twitter @krylyr.