WIP: Doctor Fantastik Part III

Tabita interrupted. She was a classic old crone of Tabat, her skin darkened from exposure to the salt wind, her hair cut short in the manner of sailors, which older women affected due to its easiness, if they had retained enough hair to make the style dignified.

Tabita had. She was a severe but elegant woman of perhaps sixty, with turquoise eyes and a string of amber around her neck. “They say ghosts linger because of unfinished business,” she said to the Doctor. “Is that true?”

He stroked his whiskers, eying the squid pudding that trembled like a fever patient in the center of the table. “On occasion, ma’am, aye.”

“Is that why our twins linger then? Some unfinished business?”

“It is more likely that one or the other of them does not realize she is dead,” he said, parceling out a fragment of the pudding, which smelled better than it looked. An oily sheen rainbowed its surface.

“How could they not know that?” a waitress squeaked, he wasn’t sure which one.

Doctor Fantastik fixed her with a portentous eye. No particular amount of ghost energy clung to her, other than the growth that covered them all, the ectoplasmic snail ooze that ghosts could not help but exude and which grew throughout this building, shaggy and slimy as rotting moss.

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About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and the magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Exiles of Tabat, the third book of the Tabat Quartet. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.
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