“Mr. Green” by Gary Budgen
Rust fell on Maiden Road, falling in tiny flakes borne by the wind and covering the ground with burnt red like a carpet of autumn leaf. The rust covered the parked cars, the folds and intricacies of privet hedges, the broken concrete surfaces of the front yards.
I saw this on the day I visited my mother for the first time in a year, tail between my legs — basically skint — in hope of at least a Sunday lunch. Mr Jutley had been washing his white BMW and was standing, shaking his head at the covering of rust grains that had come from the sky. It was everywhere, even on Mr Jutley’s turban.
Gary Budgen grew up and lives in London, UK. He has had fiction published in many magazines and anthologies. Recent stories are in Sensorama from Eibonvale Press and We Can Improve You from Boo Books. He is a member of Clockhouse London Writers and can be found at garybudgen.wordpress.com
“Changelings” by Melanie Tem
Bridget sat quietly in the house of the creature who had stolen her child.
In her hand was a mug of the best coffee she’d ever tasted: strong and aromatic, and Still hot even though she’d been mostly ignoring it for some time. On the table at her elbow was a bowl of dry-roasted peanuts, which even under the circumstances she had a hard time resisting; they nearly filled a dark, thick wooden bowl of an odd shape, whose polished planes made her want to keep running her fingertips over it. An old Waylon-and-Willie tape of love songs was playing, one of her favorites. The creature knew.
Melanie Tem’s work received the Bram Stoker, International Horror Guild, British Fantasy, and World Fantasy Awards, and a nomination for the Shirley Jackson Award. She published over one hundred short stories, twelve solo novels, two collaborative novels with Nancy Holder, and two collaborative novels and a short story collection with her husband, Steve Rasnic Tem. Among her novels were Prodigal, Wilding, Revenant, The Yellow Wood (her latest), and Black River, a fictional exploration of grief as a hero’s journey. She was also a published poet, an oral storyteller, and a playwright. As a social worker and administrator she worked for the elderly, the disabled, and adoptive children and their parents. A speech of hers on unconditional commitment is still used in parts of the country in the training of prospective adoptive parents. She had four children and six grandchildren.
Melanie passed away in February of this year from metastatic breast cancer.
Of Melanie’s love of oral storytelling, Steve had this to say:
Those stories can be heard here.
About the Narrators:
Chris Mack is an enigmatic actor, voice artist, acting coach, father, and a New Yorker-turned-Parisienne. His credits include the animated feature Persepolis and the best-selling videogame Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow. Find out more at chrismack.net.
Nicola Seaton-Clark lives in the wilds of (almost) Eastern Europe with her long-suffering husband, phenomenal children and a grumpy cat. Trained as an actress and singer, she has worked in entertainment for over 20 years and currently splits her time between writing speculative fiction, helping her husband run their voice-over company, Offstimme, and voicing everything from commercials and documentaries to public transport announcements. She also hosts this podcast…