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Collecting Ghosts

Laurence Raphael Brothers is a writer and technologist with numerous short story publications in such magazines as Nature, PodCastle, and Galaxy's Edge. He is seeking representation for a new science fiction novel. For more of his stories online, visit laurencebrothers.com. Follow him on Twitter @lbrothers.

Rachael K. Jones grew up in various cities across Europe and North America, picked up (and mostly forgot) six languages, and acquired several degrees in the arts and sciences. Now she writes speculative fiction in Portland, Oregon. Her debut novella, Every River Runs to Salt, will be out with Fireside Fiction in late 2018. Contrary to the rumors, she is probably not a secret android. Rachael is a World Fantasy Award nominee and Tiptree Award honoree. Her fiction has appeared in dozens of venues worldwide, including Lightspeed, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons, and PodCastle. Follow her on Twitter @RachaelKJones.
Evan's hobby was collecting ghosts. He had puppy-ghosts, lizard-ghosts, playful wispy kitten-ghosts, even an ethereal, shy fox-ghost he'd found whimpering outside.
Ghost-making was easy. You buried their bodies in your backyard, and they'd be yours for life. Simple. Easy enough for roadkill, but Evan had ambitions.
Rare ambitions.
Museum-sized ambitions.
It was easy. A rented van and an air of authority. The curator smiled and nodded. Then the backhoe, and then the solemn reburial.
The spectral tyrannosaur screamed in rage and gestured skyward with its tiny arms.
Evan looked up, uncomprehending. He didn't see the asteroid on its collision course.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, June 6th, 2019


This drabble was written as part of a challenge in which the first 50 words were written by one writer, and the latter 50 were written by another. The seam may be obvious in retrospect, but developing something like a whole from the two parts was a great deal of fun for us.

- Rachael K. Jones and Laurence Raphael Brothers
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