The ghost in my attic is Margaret, but she lets me call her Margie. She was seventy-six years old when she died, and now that she’s a ghost she sits in her rocking chair day and night, holding a tiny baby in her arms. The baby rarely moves and almost never cries. His name is Gavin, and he is thin and wrinkly and covered in fine brown hair. Funny looking, as preemies often are, but sweet nonetheless. Margie keeps him wrapped in a blanket of cobwebs, which I think is disgusting. I’ve always hated spiders.
The six of them meet for the first time in front of the sagging clapboard house where Everett Montrose was born. All are tired, with hollows under their eyes from driving or riding buses for days. Even so, they greet each other with shy, relieved smiles. Few words are said; most seem unsure of how to speak to each other. There are some handshakes, even a quick hug or two, but these interactions are awkward and all soon turn their attention to their reason for coming here. They all carry with them small pieces of Everett Montrose, and all instinctively touch the fragments as they look to the house.
This episode of the Drabblecast opens with an announcement that the Kickstarter goal for Norm’s new CD has been reached. The theme of the trifecta is Southern justice. In Whit Carlson’s Trespasser, chronic bellyacher Whit Carlson makes a complaint to the sheriff about a clown fishing on his property. In The Six Pieces of Everett Montrose, six strangers meet in front of the house where Everett Montrose was born and where his brother still lives. Each has been compelled to return the bone fragment he or she has found. In Boll Weevil, a man drives home through a plague of boll weevils to face the end of the world. Whether they are a bioweapon, a biblical plague, or aliens, the boll weevils have survived the winter and started breeding wildly, injecting their babies into people with each bite. After containment and quarantine have failed to stop them, a scorched earth policy is about to be enacted. The episode concludes with a bit by Hearty White reading a poetry submission rejection letter.
Cover for Drabblecast episode 216, The Book of Eternity, by Jan Dennison
His name was Marvin Kasselmeier, though he changed it to Marcus Magnus
because he thought it sounded more impressive. He’d been a bright student,
solitary and humorless, with no friends, and a single obsession: he wanted to live forever…
Is eternal life real worth it? A demonic tale from Mike Resnick explores the question in the final week of Lovecraft months Story features In Search of the Brain-Eating Nandi Bear Part V.
My earliest fear, the one I remember anyways, was of great pulp magazine robots with hot water heater bodies and vacuum tube eyes. My brother forbade me to touch his precious magazines, so I wouldn’t. I’d stare and stare at the covers through; hourglassed damsels in diaphanous gowns draped over thick slab altars, and the robots, always the robots with their cylindrical torsos and pincer claws for hands….