“First and Last and Always” by Thana Niveau
(Originally published in Magic: An Anthology of the Esoteric and Arcane.)
Tamsin placed her hands on either side of her phone and gazed intently at the picture of Nicky she’d taken the day before. Her heart soared as she said his name aloud.
The flickering candlelight gave him the illusion of movement and Tamsin could almost believe she was watching him through a portal, seeing him as he was right at this moment. After a few seconds the picture faded and the screen went dark. She peered into the smooth black surface, focusing on the afterimage – Nicky in negative, overlaid by the reflection of her eyes and the ghostly glow of the flame.
When the image behind her eyes finally faded too she tried to see beyond the scrying glass of the phone’s screen, into whatever dimension the emptiness might reveal. Past, present, future – she didn’t care as long as she saw him.
Thana Niveau is a horror and science fiction writer. Originally from the States, she now lives in the UK, in a Victorian seaside town between Bristol and Wales. She has twice been nominated for the British Fantasy Award – once for her debut short story collection From Hell to Eternity and once for her story “Death Walks En Pointe”. She has been writing all her life, but only began to publish after winning first place in a Jack the Ripper short story competition in 2010. Many others stories followed, in such diverse publications as Interzone, Black Static, Darker Companions (a tribute to Ramsey Campbell), Steampunk Cthulhu, Zombie Apocalypse Endgame, several volumes of both the Black Book of Horror series and the Terror Tales series. Her Lovecraftian novella Not to Touch the Earth appears in Whispers in the Dark. Her work has been reprinted in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, as well as Best British Horror.
About the Narrator:
Summer Brooks is a bit of a television addict, and enjoys putting her scifi media geek skills to good use in interviewing guests. She had been a co-host for Slice of SciFi from 2005-2009, the co-host for The Babylon Podcast from 2006-2012, and host of Kick-Ass Mystic Ninjas, before returning to Slice of SciFi full time as host and producer in August 2014.
She is an avid reader and writer of scifi, fantasy and thrillers, with a handful of publishing credits to her name. Next on her agenda is writing an urban fantasy tale, and a B-movie monster extravaganza.
Currently, Summer designs and maintains websites for clients in addition to having fun with the Slice of SciFi websites, and also does voiceover & narrations for Tales to Terrify, StarShipSofa and Escape Pod, among others.