Rated R. Contains drug use, some profanity, and codependent creatures of darkness.
By Lisa M. Bradley
That might seem funny to those who’ve ever bothered to attend these performances, to say that someone didn’t belong. The audience is always a motley sort–faculty and spouses, local musicians and artists, music students and jocks who have to attend so many of these things to get credit for required courses, waitresses and office workers desperate for some culture, their school-age children (alternately awed and bored to tears), homeless folks who need a warm place to sleep for a couple of hours, mentally and physically handicapped folks hauled out as someone’s idea of a good deed, and, of course, recreational drug users with nothing better to do.
Still, he didn’t belong. He was Gothic. Not like those kids who hang out at Hot Topic and think wearing black nail polish expresses their inner turmoil, their eternal angst. I’d seen Goths there before and he wasn’t Goth, he was Gothic–dark and looming, faintly chivalrous in manner, seemingly possessed of a great, tragic secret. I thought of Bronte’s Heathcliff.
About the Author
Lisa M. Bradley was forged in the scalding heat of South Texas, and she now lives in Iowa with her spouse, child, and two cats. More of her imaginings, always inflected by her Latina heritage, are forthcoming in Solarpunk Press, Strange Horizons, and the Sunvault anthology. Her collection of short fiction and poetry is The Haunted Girl (Aqueduct Press). For more, follow her on Twitter (@cafenowhere) or visit her website: www.lisambradley.com.
About the Narrator
Serah Eley is the original producer, editor and host of Escape Pod. She mispronounced her name as Steve Eley at the time, but has since realized that life is much more fun as a woman, and came out as transgender in 2015. Serah lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her two spouses (she prefers “spice”), Sadi and Cat.
So if there were ever any betting pools on what happened to Steve: the dark-horse winner is “changed sex and joined a committed lesbian love triangle.” She is, obviously, still Having Fun.