“What the Blood Bog Takes” by Barbara A. Barnett
Originally published in Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show #47.)
On the Day of Sacrifice, my sister Asthore and I wait at the blood bog's edge, our feet sinking into the muddy shore. Asthore gawks with unbridled curiosity as the ceremonial procession emerges from the fog-shrouded forest; I watch with trepidation. Our clan-chief Fallon leads the procession, a sheepskin mantle draped across his sinewy shoulders and a wary look on his furrowed face. It has been many generations since the gods last demanded the sacrifice of a clan-chief, but the harvest has been meager this year, and many of our kinsmen have died raiding neighboring clans. And so Fallon walks with slow steps, leaden with the possibility that today the gods will call for his death.
Barbara A. Barnett is a writer, musician, orchestra librarian, coffee addict, wine lover, and all-around geek. Her short fiction has appeared in publications such as Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, Daily Science Fiction, and Flash Fiction Online. She is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop and currently serves as managing editor of the workshop’s blog. Barbara lurks about the Philadelphia area and can be found online at babarnett.com.
About the Narrator:
Andrea Subissati (aka “Lady Hellbat”) is a sociologist, journalist, and podcaster. Lady Hellbat earned her moniker playing roller derby for Toronto’s Gore-Gore Rollergirls. In 2010, her Master’s thesis on the social impact of zombie cinema was published under the title When There’s No More Room In Hell: The Sociology of the Living Dead. Since then, she has been published in The Undead and Theology (2012) and The Canadian Horror Film: Terror of the Soul (2015). She became executive editor of Rue Morgue magazine in 2017.
In addition to writing, Andrea has made guest appearances on the Rue Morgue Podcast and Pseudopod, and the TV horror documentary Why Horror? (2014). She is co-host and producer of The Faculty of Horror podcast with writer Alexandra West, as well as co-curator of the Toronto-based horror lecture series The Black Museum, which she founded with Paul Corupe. In 2015, she launched the horror YouTube channel THE BATCAVE. Lady Hellbat stalks the streets of Toronto, Ontario, and can be found in her natural habitat, hunched over her laptop, and plotting her next coup. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.