A Note: Help The Other Stories by using our affiliate links to buy these and other books – you’ll grow your library and help us pay our interns! We now have both print and ebook options for your reading pleasure
Shadows Over Main Street: An Anthology of Small-Town Lovecraftian Terror (print)
Tracy Letts: Bug: A Play (print) / August: Osage County (print / ebook) / Killer Joe (print / ebook)
Peter Watts: Blindsight (print / ebook) / Echopraxia (print / ebook) / Starfish (print / ebook)
H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft (print / ebook)
Victor LaValle: The Ballad of Black Tom (print / ebook) / The Devil in Silver (print / ebook) / Big Machine: A Novel (print / ebook)
Stephen King: 11/22/63 (print / ebook) / Doctor Sleep: A Novel (print / ebook) / Mr. Mercedes (print / ebook)
The waitress brings us our coffee, dishwater pale murk in cracked porcelain cups. Behind the thin surgical mask, her face is unreadable, but her gaze flicks from me to my companion and back again before she leaves without a word. Mickey watches her go and then fixes his eyes on me. For a long moment, the silence continues, as our eyes confirm what our hearts seemed to know the instant we passed on the street.
“Okay, Dale,” he says, his voice hoarse and still raw, like my own. There is an accent I can’t place – perhaps a district on the other side of the city. “I’m going to ask you a couple of questions, but I think I already know the answers.”
I pick up the coffee, finding it smells as weak and thin as it looks, and contemplate taking an exploratory swig. Around us the few lunchtime patrons of the dingy coffee shop are listlessly eating, lifting up paper masks to shovel in crumbling and greasy burgers, backsides squeaking on red vinyl seats. Those that aren’t eating are staring at us, at our uncovered faces.
“Okay,” I say, “Shoot.”
First souls was originally published in the Summer 2016 issue of FLAPPERHOUSE. Read the full story here, and enjoy the excerpt above.
Cameron Suey lives in California with his wife and two children. He works as a writer in the games industry, most recently on “Rise of the Tomb Raider.” His work has appeared on the Pseudopod Podcast, anthologies including Shadows over Main Street, and was featured in the first issues of Jamais Vu and Flapperhouse. He can be found on the web at cameronsuey.com, and on twitter as @josefkstories.
Image: Flickr / Marco – Clef de Peau