Where Monsters Dance
by Merc Rustad
It hurts your eyes to stare at the hole. You look away, shaking, and as soon as you do, the memory blurs, fuzzily distorting until you aren’t sure what you were just looking at.
One thing’s always clear, though: Ashley.
You wipe your sweaty palms on your jeans and step into the woods. There, not a yard inside the dark tree shadow, you see a glimmer of color. A red thread–it matches Ashley’s favorite wool sweater. It’s caught on a branch and unravels deeper into the woods.
About the Author
A. Merc Rustad is a queer non-binary writer who lives in Minnesota and is a 2016 Nebula Awards finalist. Their stories have appeared in Lightspeed, Fireside, Apex, Uncanny, Shimmer, Cicada, and several Year’s Best anthologies. You can find Merc on Twitter @Merc_Rustad or their website: http://amercrustad.com. Their debut short story collection, SO YOU WANT TO BE A ROBOT, was published by Lethe Press (May 2017).
About the Narrator
Tina Connolly is the author of the Ironskin trilogy from Tor Books, and the Seriously Wicked series from Tor Teen. Her novels have been finalists for the Nebula and the Norton. Her very first Escape Pod appearance was in #209, when “On the Eyeball Floor” was narrated by Norm Sherman, and she’s been providing narration for PodCastle since our miniature episode 23, about 8 months prior to her first publication with Escape Pod. Her stories are collected in On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories, from Fairwood Press. She is one of the current co-hosts of Escape Pod, and her narrations have appeared all over.
She is extremely delighted to have had both her stories and her narrations featured on all four Escape Artists podcasts. Find her intermittent, Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast at Toasted Cake, or find her at tinaconnolly.com.