“The Air We Breathe Is Stormy, Stormy”—A Cool Story of the Sea by Rich Larson, 2014 (Reblog)

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In Baltic waters, gnashed by dark waves, there stood an old oil platform on rusted legs. It was populated as rigs always are, by coarse men young and strong whose faces soon overgrew with bristle and bloat. Cedric was one of these.

He’d fled his father in New Zealand, then a pregnant girlfriend in Perth, arriving on the rig with insomniac eyes and an inchoate smile and a bank account in need of filling. In the pocket of his dull blue coverall, he carried an old Kindle with a spider-webbed screen and a Polaroid photograph of Violet when she was still slim and still laughed.

His days were filled by the slow geometry of pipefitting, the bone-deep clank of machinery, the shrieks and swoops of soot-stained gulls. At night, when the running lights cast wavery orange on the black water and a sea-breeze scoured at the omnipresent stench of oil, Cedric thought the rig was not so bad. At night he read Moby Dick and anything else vaguely nautical. At night, Violet was blurred beautiful by the webcam window, distended curve of her stomach cropped neatly away, and he nearly loved her again.

Some nights, Cedric stayed up top for hours to watch the starless sky and the ink-black sea. Dregs from this or that leak shimmered around the derrick’s legs. Scabs of tangled plastic bobbed between them. Some nights, Cedric thought he saw a shape moving in the water, but he knew all fish had fled long ago.

Long months stacked on months, and the weekend before the fresh crew was brought in, everyone shattered themselves on whiskey hidden under bunks and coke stashed in jacket linings. Cedric copped a dime-bag of weed from Biggs, who wore Arsenal gear religiously but was otherwise sound, and sawed himself a bong from an empty two-litre.

Biggs stayed for a few hoots, then it was only Cedric and the gurgle of bong-water, the gasp-catch of a held lungful, the electronic melody of a Skype dial tone. Any day now, love, Violet said, when she appeared. Cedric nodded blearily, leaking smoke from chapped lips. She showed him, then, and it was impossibly pale and round and sized like the moon.

Cedric cut the line, because that was more merciful, wasn’t it, than telling her he would go anywhere but back to her in Perth. He clumped up top, through drinking songs and flitting cards and eruptions of laughter. He went to the rail with his head full of helium. The icy pitch was thick, thick below him.

And there: a gleaming face, ivory-white. Cedric thought to call for help, thought the drifting body was crew drunk and toppled overboard, but the face made no sound, only blinked oil-black eyes, and so he knew he was imagining it. He went back below with his feet heavy as stones.

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White of the Moon, New Tales of Madness and Dread, ed. Stephen Jones, TOC

51osU5Gpb6LTable of Contents

White of the Moon: New Tales of Madness and Dread • (1999) • interior artwork by Randy Broecker [as by Randy Broeker]
x • Introduction (White of the Moon: New Tales of Madness and Dread) • (1999) • essay by Stephen Jones
1 • Home Again • (1999) • short story by Christopher Fowler
6 • Unhasped • (1999) • short story by David J. Schow
21 • Rats Live on No Evil Star • (1999) • short story by Caitlín R. Kiernan [as by Caitlín Kiernan]
34 • Agatha’s Ghost • (1999) • short story by Ramsey Campbell
45 • Collecting Dust • (1999) • short story by Gregory Frost
63 • What Ever Happened to Baby June? • [Marty Burns] • (1999) • short story by Jay Russell
81 • The Clock That Counts the Dead • (1999) • short story by Edward Bryant
95 • Little Contrasts • (1999) • short story by Kathryn Ptacek
105 • Another Frame • (1999) • short story by Joel Lane
116 • Rose, Crowned with Thorns • (1999) • novelette by Brian Stableford
140 • Feng Shui • (1999) • short story by Roberta Lannes
148 • Friend in Need • (1999) • short story by Graham Masterton
161 • Getting a Life • (1999) • novelette by Terry Lamsley
187 • A New Force of Nature • (1999) • short story by Lisa Morton
198 • The Roundabout • (1999) • short story by Nicholas Royle
216 • Heat • (1999) • short story by Steve Rasnic Tem
228 • I Spy • (1999) • short story by Paul J. McAuley
245 • You Don’t Have to Be Mad … • [The Diogenes Club] • (1999) • novelette by Kim Newman
275 • Welcome • (1999) • novelette by Michael Marshall Smith
298 • The Strange Case of X • [Ambergris] • (1999) • novelette by Jeff VanderMeer
337 • White of the Moon (A Lullaby) • poem by Jo Fletcher

Deep Cuts 19 Tales of Mayhem, Menace, & Misery–and Reviews–ed. by McCoy, Magill, Marrs, TOC

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Editors’ Foreword (Deep Cuts) • essay by E. S. Magill and Chris Marrs and Angel Leigh McCoy
Introduction (Deep Cuts) • essay by Lisa Morton
E. S. Magill on Nancy Holder’s “Crash Cart” • essay by E. S. Magill
Review: Crash Cart by Nancy Holder • review by E. S. Magill
Crash Cart • (1993) • short story by Nancy Holder
Sandra M. Odell on Tanith Lee’s “The Princess and Her Future—Asia: The Eighteenth Century” • essay by Sandra M. Odell
Review: The Princess and Her Future by Tanith Lee • review by Sandra M. Odell
The Poison Eater • short story by Sandra M. Odell
Samael Gyre on May Sinclair’s “The Victim” • essay by Samael Gyre
Review: The Victim by May Sinclair • review by Samael Gyre
The Ditch • short story by Samael Gyre
Sara Taylor on Diana Wynne Jones’s “The Master” • essay by Sara Taylor
Review: The Master by Diana Wynne Jones • review by Sara Taylor
Practical Necromancy • short story by Sara Taylor
Michael Haynes on Frances Garfield’s “Come to the Party” • essay by Michael Haynes
Review: Come to the Party by Frances Garfield • review by Michael Haynes
Awaiting the Captain’s Ghost • short story by Michael Haynes
R. S. Belcher on Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” • essay by R. S. Belcher
Review: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson • review by R. S. Belcher
Hollow Moments • short story by R. S. Belcher
Stephen Woodworth on Roberta Lannes’s “Good-bye, Dark Love” • essay by Stephen Woodworth
Review: Goodbye, Dark Love by Roberta Lannes • review by Stephen Woodworth
Mr. Casey Is in the House • short story by Stephen Woodworth
Chris Marrs on Yvonne Navarro’s “Santa Alma” • essay by Chris Marrs
Review: Santa Alma by Yvonne Navarro • review by Chris Marrs
Santa Alma • (2000) • short story by Yvonne Navarro
C. W. Smith on Shirley Jackson’s “The Summer People” • essay by C. W. Smith
Review: The Summer People by Shirley Jackson • review by C. W. Smith
Sanctity • short story by C. W. Smith
Colleen Anderson on Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” • essay by Colleen Anderson
Review: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson • review by Colleen Anderson
Red Is the Color of My True Love’s Blood • short story by Colleen Anderson
James Chambers on Elizabeth Massie’s “Crow, Cat, Cow, Child” • essay by James Chambers
Review: Crow, Cat, Cow, Child by Elizabeth Massie • review by James Chambers
Lost Daughters • short story by James Chambers
Ed Kurtz on Elizabeth Massie’s “Abed” • essay by Ed Kurtz
Review: Abed by Elizabeth Massie • review by Ed Kurtz
Mules • short story by Ed Kurtz
Angel Leigh McCoy on Mehitobel Wilson’s “The Remains” • essay by Angel Leigh McCoy
Review: The Remains by Mehitobel Wilson • review by Angel Leigh McCoy
The Remains • short story by Mehitobel Wilson
Rachel Karyo on Caitlín R. Kiernan’s “Rats Live on No Evil Star” • essay by Rachel Karyo
Review: Rats Live on No Evil Star by Caitlín R. Kiernan • review by Rachel Karyo
Beavers • short story by Rachel Karyo
Kelly A. Harmon on Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” • essay by Kelly A. Harmon
Review: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson • review by Kelly A. Harmon
Lucky Clover • short story by Kelly A. Harmon
Scathe meic Beorh on Joyce Carole Oates’s “Thanksgiving” • essay by Skadi meic Beorh [as by Scathe meic Beorh]
Review: Thanksgiving by Joyce Carol Oates • review by Skadi meic Beorh [as by Scathe meic Beorh]
Pinprick • (2008) • short story by Skadi meic Beorh [as by Scathe meic Beorh]
Patricia Lillie on Melanie Tem’s “Secrets” • essay by Patricia Lillie
Review: Secrets by Melanie Tem • review by Patricia Lillie
Abby • short story by Patricia Lillie
Satyros Phil Brucato on Lucy Taylor’s “Wall of Words” • essay by Phil Brucato [as by Satyros Phil Brucato]
Review: Wall of Words by Lucy Taylor • review by Phil Brucato [as by Satyros Phil Brucato]
Clown Balloons • short story by Phil Brucato [as by Satyros Phil Brucato]
Review: Jasmine and Garlic by Monica J. O’Rourke • review by Rob M. Miller
I Am Victim • short story by Rob M. Miller
More Deep Cuts Recommendations • essay by E. S. Magill and Chris Marrs and Angel Leigh McCoy
Review: The Extra Hour by Lisa Tuttle • review by Mehitobel Wilson
Review: The Haunted Chamber by Ann Radcliffe • review by Hollie Snider
Review: Green Thumb by Nancy Kress • review by Kelly Chase
Review: The Quest for Blank Claveringi by Patricia Highsmith • review by Chandler Kaiden
Review: Time Enough at Last by Lyn Venable • review by Christian A. Larsen [as by Christian Larsen]
Review: The Bearded Ones by Felicity Dowker • review by Alan Baxter
Review: The Cat Jumps by Elizabeth Bowen • review by Pamela Troy
Review: Sister Cilice by Barbie Wilde • review by Daniel I. Russell
Review: Close Shave by Fran Friel • review by Jonathan H. Roberts
Review: Stillborn by Nina Kiriki Hoffman • review by Lee Forsythe
Review: Gestella by Susan Palwick • review by David Steffen
Review: The Foreigner by Sarah Orne Jewett • review by Molly Moss
Review: The Unremembered by Chesya Burke • review by Rhonda Jackson Joseph
Review: Anna Medea by Tanith Lee • review by Chantal Boudreau
Review: Old Lemuel’s Journey by Alice Brown • review by David Goudsward
Review: Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been by Joyce Carol Oates • review by Richard Thomas
Review: The Green Grave and the Black Grave by Mary Lavin • review by Carmen Tudor
Review: Brazo de Dios by Elizabeth Massie • review by Lana Cooper
Review: Pugelbone by Nadia Bulkin • review by Selene MacLeod
Review: The Screaming Room by Sarah Pinborough • review by Meghan Arcuri [as by Meghan Arcuri-Moran]
Review: Aftermath by Joy Kennedy-O’Neill • review by Michelle Ann King
Review: Calcutta, Lord of Nerves by Poppy Z. Brite • review by John Palisano
Review: Taking Care of Michael by J. L. Comeau • review by Robert Essig
Review: Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box by Mira Grant • review by Steven Voelker
Review: The Witch by Shirley Jackson • review by S. P. Miskowski
Review: The Grinding House by Kaaron Warren • review by Tyler L. Duniho
Review: Cafe Endless: Spring Rain by Nancy Holder • review by Liz Strange
Review: That Only a Mother by Judith Merril • review by Desmond Warzel
Review: Greedy Choke Puppy by Nalo Hopkinson • review by Anita Siraki
Review: The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin • review by Eric Ponvelle
Review of “Eyes of Emerald: The Bride” by Tanith Lee • essay by Kelly Dunn
Review: Pearlstock by Sara Joan Berniker • review by Boyd Harris
Review: The Fall River Axe Murders by Angela Carter • review by April Asbury
Review: Unicorn Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas • review by Roh Morgon
Review: Accident d’Amour by Wildy Petoud • review by Shawn Rutledge
Review: The Safety of Unknown Cities by Lucy Taylor • review by Sally Bosco
Review: Stephen by Elizabeth Massie • review by Laura J. Hickman
Review: The White Maniac: A Doctor’s Tale by Waif Wander • review by Amanda J. Spedding
Review: Singing My Sister Down by Margo Lanagan • review by Erinn L. Kemper [as by E. L. Kemper]
Review: Replacements by Lisa Tuttle • review by E. F. Schraeder
Review: A Reversal of Fortune by Holly Black • review by Sonny Zae
Review: The Screwfly Solution by James Tiptree, Jr. • review by H. E. Roulo
Deep Cuts Bios • essay by uncredited