by C. S. Fuqua
This story first appeared in Brutarian, 2003
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The sound of metal slamming into meat usually amused him, but this time, the meat was his own. Pain exploded, bones shattered, and the world spun in slow motion. He caught a glimpse of faces, some indifferent, some stunned, one shielded behind a scarf that hid all but her eyes.
The car rocked to a halt as Eiichi Takada hit the ground with a nauseating thud. From the fringe of consciousness, darkness—that teasing taste of death—flooded in. Sky, faces, leaves twitching in the breeze—all faded to black, and Eiichi smiled, certain that he was finally free.
Gentle wind touched his cheeks, slid up his face and over his head through thin, white hair. Voices hummed like bees in a summer field. His eyes opened to murmured amazement. A hand helped him to sit up. He grimaced and rose awkwardly to his feet. He swooned, but the pain was bearable. How long had he been unconscious? No ambulance, no police—not too long, he reasoned. He smiled as best he could and bowed to the gathered crowd. He backed toward the sidewalk, toward Yasukuni Shrine’s entrance, hands humbly pressed together before his face, thanking the people for their kind attention.
"Let me assure you, I’m okay. I’m fine," he said, "nothing broken, nothing damaged. Only the wind knocked out.” The driver of the car that had hit him begged him to go to a hospital to be checked by a medical doctor, but Eiichi refused. “I’m fine…fine.” He bowed again to everyone and turned away with diminishing pain. In time too soon, the pain would vanish altogether.
The shrine’s entrance door closed behind him, and, finally, he could take a moment without anyone watching. He leaned against the wall and closed his eyes. Hushed voices echoed through the building, and he imagined the whispers of ancient warriors enshrined here welcoming him. Many of the men he had fought for in the Pacific were enshrined here as well, some branded as criminals for the acts they had directed against the enemy. War is war, Eiichi argued bitterly in his mind. Atrocities matter only if you win. Every act is relevant only to who prevails. One country’s warriors are another’s criminals.
He pushed off the wall and exited the building into the shrine’s garden where a small pond provided distraction for children and the old people who watched them. Carp lolled in the pond water, lazy and fat from hands dropping an endless supply of food pellets. He refused to feed the fish, detested the way their expectant mouths worked like suckling infants. Pain stabbed up his leg, and he caught his breath, rubbed a hand over his moist face as three children squatted at the pond’s edge, giggling, tossing food into those indolent mouths, pellet by pellet. The old man sighed as the pain in his leg lessened. Perhaps he would see a doctor…but, no. He shook his head. He would be fine. He was always fine.
Eiichi had visited this shrine dozens of times in recent years to offer prayers to and for his ancestors, the great warriors. And he offered prayers for the men who had given him his orders, men he would have died for. Had I only been so fortunate… he thought. His face flushed with sadness and shame. He should be enshrined here, not a visitor, living what seemed to be an endless life. Who would remember him if he died today? Who? his mind shouted.
“I’m tired,” he whispered.
He turned to the sound of laughter, gaijin, foreign tourists exiting the building. His jaw tightened with their laughs. They should not be here, he thought. Not on Yasukuni Shrine holy grounds. Too many proud ghosts here, some of their weapons displayed inside, even a Zero Fighter from the Imperial Japanese Navy. Those planes had screamed overhead as his unit took the island so many years ago. The Imperial Army had been invincible in the beginning, fashioned by the gods for the emperor’s desire, an army to vanquish the world and take it as its own. Faces loomed up in memory, and he centered on a single set of eyes, weary, pleading. Why, he wondered, had her riches been so important?
The foreign woman with the two men stood tall, hair a fiery red, eyes as green as droplets of mountain water. Eiichi looked away. He had not seen such eyes since the war. Anger welled in him, anger seeded by failure.
The children squealed, and Eiichi glanced over to see one of the boys pick up a frog he’d stepped on. It lay lifeless and bloody in his hand. He jabbed the frog at the other two, generating another blast of squeals as they bolted away. The boy started to toss the frog aside, but something about it caught his attention, and he examined it more closely. His smile faltered. One of the other children called. He glanced up, then looked back at the frog. Abruptly, he dropped the frog into the pond and ran after his friends. Water splashed in the sunlight as carp thrashed over one another and slid back into the depths.
Drops of mercury glitter in the shaft of sun through the open window. “On the lips,” his superior instructs.
Her naked body reeks of decay and filth. Eiichi wants to vomit. “She needs water,” he says
“On her lips,” the officer repeats slowly, sternly.
The woman, one of the younger whores, groans and rolls her head, fighting to regain consciousness. He lowers the dropper, squeezes two silver beads onto her pale lips. The liquid breaks into a hundred spheres, collects in the corners of her mouth. She licks, the drops moving over her tongue, down her throat. Tomorrow or the next day, Eiichi will bury her carcass. If she had only given herself willingly to the commander, to the others, to him…perhaps her death would not be so tortured.
He grimaces at the thought because he knows it’s a lie.
When darkness settles, he steals back into the room, places his hand over the woman’s mouth and nose. Her eyes open briefly, at first frightened, but peace slowly fills them, and they close. She puts up no fight, her life easing away under his hands. Holding back tears, he bends and kisses her forehead.
“The water shimmers like a billion drops of mercury, doesn’t it?”
Eiichi jerked around, startled by the voice, deep and sultry, not like the Japanese women to whom he was accustomed, yet the woman’s Japanese was impeccable. He directed his gaze quickly back toward the pool, embarrassed by his surprised reaction. He nodded. “Hai. Yes.” Odd comparison, water and mercury, he thought. He stole another look at the woman.
She sat erect, face forward, but she was covered completely, a flowing dirt-brown skirt that fell to her ankles, feet clad in worn suede shoes, laced tightly with their soles chipped and thin, a bulky, unremarkable blouse that hung on her like a parachute caught on the branches of a bare tree, and, over her head and part of her face, a gray scarf, leaving only her eyes unveiled. Those eyes, faintly hazel if the sun hit them at a specific angle, unnerving. The woman’s gaze narrowed at him, as though she could hear his thoughts. Her eyes swirled with the muted color of emeralds, and Eiichi thought he could see his own reflection. He looked away.
“You have relatives honored here?” she asked.
Eiichi detected a Kyoto accent. Perhaps, he thought, her father is gaijin, American or European. That could explain those eyes.
“Iie,” he replied. He paused a heartbeat. “Men I knew.”
He turned back to her with the mention of the word, found her still staring at him, those eyes steady and filled with knowledge. He shook his head, unable to hold her gaze. “I’m no warrior.”
In the front room, the room where the women had once gathered with men for nights of laughter, drink, and songs, couple by couple escaping to rooms upstairs, to beds where magic could be had for a fee, Eiichi and two other men did as their commander instructed. They brought in the whore’s trunks and cases and opened them to find riches beyond their belief. Fine silks, furs, jewelry, silver, and gold. Trunk after trunk. But the American Navy, she’d told them, had limited evacuees to one lightweight piece of luggage each. Only one. She refused to leave such riches behind. Not after so many years, so many men.
Eiichi laughed with the others as they ripped the clothes from the cases, shredding them with bayonets. They howled as Washiyama flung himself back against the wall, his hands above his head in the same position they had nailed the red-haired whore’s. “Ssssss,” Washiyama hissed, lowering his hands to his chest, fingers wiggling like smoke.
The laughter caught in Eiichi’s throat. The woman’s flesh had charred and bubbled as the commander pressed the glowing red bayonet to her nipples. She gasped, but refused to scream, the gasp itself vanishing into the soft, wet sound of the bayonet suddenly slicing down and through her sternum and belly to her pelvis. Eiichi had been certain the whore heard and saw the men cheer as her insides splattered at her feet.
Eiichi backed away, his smile gradually melting as the others howled and whooped. Two of the men performed a macabre dance of death in her blood, grabbed her hair, and pulled it out in fistfuls. She’s lucky, Eiichi told himself. Her ultimate fate would have been the same, but she had refused the commander’s demand for sex. When he forced her, she slipped a knife from under her mattress and sliced out at him, slashing the flesh at his waist, barely missing his penis, winning the moment only to secure torture before death, crucified in the same house where she’d made so many men feel like gods. Eiichi could still hear her gasps, haunting him even more than the screams of the other women as they were raped into unconsciousness, then murdered by whim when their bodies could no longer serve the troops’ desires.
“Women should never refuse their men.”
Eiichi’s breath caught, and he turned, stunned from his thoughts by the statement. “Pardon me…what did you say?”
The woman’s eyes crinkled, and he knew she was smiling behind the scarf. “I said nothing.” She shifted, cocking her head slightly. “Tell me, what do you think of war?”
He looked down, still shaken by his memories. Should he chant the modern mantra, that war is evil, that the true enemy is war itself? That’s what he’d heard since the defeat of the Imperial Army, since the Americans dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And he agreed. But sometimes, sometimes…
“Sometimes,” he said softly, “war is necessary.”
“For men like those enshrined here?” she asked.
He nodded. “For everyone.”
“Ah, perhaps. But war makes criminals of innocent people, doesn’t it? And victims. Always victims.”
“It is war,” Eiichi said, so softly that the breeze nearly hid his words. He glanced up to find her eyes still centered on him, shimmers of the pool playing in them.
“Yes, it is war. Criminals and victims,” she said. “In cities, in jungles, deserts, the sky, on the ocean…on islands.”
He felt as if she’d punched him in the chest, but he held her gaze for a beat longer, and then he rose, wincing from the pain that lingered. “I’m sorry, but I must go.” He started away, only to pause as the woman spoke again.
“Do you need help?” she asked. “I saw what happened—the car.”
“I’m okay,” he said, “just tired.” He took a step, but pain ripped up his leg. Voices howled in his head as he crumpled to the gravel path. Blackness threatened to engulf once again, but he felt hands immediately catching him under his arms, lifting with gentle strength, setting him back on the bench. The voices faded, leaving only the breeze, hissing through the cherry trees.
The woman knelt before him, and Eiichi could almost see her face behind the scarf. Her eyes searched his own, unblinkingly. “You must rest. Let me help you.”
“It isn’t necessary.” He started up.
“I believe it is.” The woman took him firmly by his arm, assisting, becoming his support, his nurse.
Eiichi cradled the cup in both hands, fingers warmed by the tea within. He raised it to his lips, sipped, his gaze peering over the edge at the woman before the sink, washing dishes that had been left from his morning meal of rice and miso soup. He lowered the cup, careful to keep his face relaxed and without emotion, but he could not stop looking at the woman. She was not young, but she was beautiful, at least to him. Her eyes were not green, as he’d first thought, but brown, like his, only her eyes reflected and enhanced color, especially green, and her hair was straight and black, with white intermingled. She was tall for a Japanese woman, taller than Eiichi, and slender, strong. She glanced over her shoulder and smiled as the wind rattled the small window of his fourth-floor apartment.
“Spirits are restless,” she said softly.
Eiichi chuckled. “Perhaps my parents.” He glanced toward the altar, insignificant in the far corner of the room. An incense burner sat between two grainy black-and-white photos of a man, woman, two boys, and a girl. They stood at the ocean’s edge with boats visible in the background. A seagull floated overhead. Everyone was grinning.
Shinto by definition, Eiichi had never believed the tales that spirits of those who’d gone before surrounded the living. Some said that the ghosts of those wronged in life haunted those who had wronged them until the living begged the ghosts’ forgiveness and prayed for the ghosts’ release to pass into the land of the dead. If he had believed such nonsense, how could he have done the things that were necessary during the war? How could anyone do such things to one another, crimes committed in the name of self, family, country? In recent years, though, since he had begun visiting Yasukuni Shrine, he sometimes imagined whispers, but immediately discounted them as an old man’s imagination.
The woman finished the washing and crossed to the table. Instead of seating herself, she leaned toward him, hands flat on the tabletop, fingers spread wide, and said, “You live alone. Ever married? Have family?”
“My sister and brother died many years ago,” he said. “As for the rest…” He waved his hand weakly, attempting to dismiss her question as well as the feeling that she was interrogating him. “I never married.” He shrugged, directing his gaze to the tea in his cup. Light played on the surface, faint images swirling. His breath caught, eyes narrowing.
No, his mind insisted, but, yes, he had seen it, the image of a woman, arms stretched and tied overhead, her body naked and bleeding, soldiers mounting her, one after another, her eyes staring straight at him, silently begging for help, for relief, mercy.
He closed his eyes, tried to brush the image from his mind, but the woman refused to go.
“How many?” came the voice from across the table.
Eiichi opened his eyes, drew a breath as he looked up to the woman. “I don’t understand.”
“How many people did you kill?” she asked. No emotion, no hint of accusation.
He drew back slightly. What type of question was that to ask? How dare she…
“I think,” he said, “it’s time for you to leave.” He fumbled with his hands, started up. “Thank you for helping me…”
She grinned, her mouth wrinkling in a strange twist that unnerved him. “Takada-san,” she said softly, “you don’t need to fear me.”
“I-I don’t fear you,” he said, but his voice was weak. “I’m just…tired.”
“We’re both tired, Takada-san. But we will rest soon.” She leaned over the narrow table and kissed his forehead. A moment later, she was at the door, donning her shoes, tying on her scarf, telling him, “I’ll see you tomorrow. When you’re better, we’ll return to Yasukuni Shrine together.” She was out the door before he could protest.
“How many times have you died?” she whispered. Her eyes reflected flecks of leaves stirred by the breeze.
Eiichi wasn’t sure if he’d heard correctly, so he acted as if he’d heard nothing as she opened the entrance door to the shrine.
A week had passed since the accident, since this woman had begun coming to his apartment, helping him, talking to him. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had such companionship, someone to talk to, male or female. Before the war, he had found friendship and conversation with women as easy as he did with men, if not easier. The war had changed him, though. In all women, he saw the same woman, her eyes pleading and accusing, her body a toy to abuse, to discard, her tongue silent in death. The closest thing to intimacy after defeat had been the rehearsed moans of prostitutes who took his money when his needs grew unbearable. Was the friendship developing with this woman a shadow of what marriage could have given him, could have spared him? It was a question to which he’d never know the true answer, but he wanted to imagine that perhaps he had found some semblance of intimacy, someone with whom he could talk on a regular basis, not someone paid to listen while servicing him as a man.
The woman looked around sharply, eyes narrowing in concentration. “Listen,” she whispered. Eiichi paused in the doorway. “Hear them?”
Eiichi cocked his head slightly, listening, searching. Voices echoed in the shrine’s halls and rooms. The wind behind them rustled leaves. Children laughed in the garden. “What…?” he began, but the woman raised a forbidding finger.
“Listen…” she hissed.
Eiichi felt the weight of his years as he bowed his head, closed his eyes. Then—was it imagination? Hushed voices mingled with the breeze, a rumbling of cadence, too soft to understand, rolling softly. The breeze caressed his neck and tousled his hair. Then, the single word “lonely” emerged from the whispers as a slow sigh.
Eiichi’s flesh crawled, eyes snapping open as a degree of despair and loneliness he had never before experienced filled him. The hallway spun before him, receding into blackness, followed by the sensation of falling.
Eiichi woke confused and breathless, the sun warming his skin, and he realized he was in the shrine’s garden. Carp broke the pool’s surface in luxurious, languid rolls. He felt the weight of a gentle hand on his shoulder, and he detected the sweet odor of flesh. He could not deny the stirrings of desire, even now.
“It’s okay,” came the woman’s voice. “You passed out. I brought you out here.”
“You…?” Eiichi asked.
She squeezed his shoulder reassuringly, then removed her hand, folding it into her lap.
“You muttered something as you fell. Do you remember? Something about being alone.”
Eiichi swallowed, his head shaking denial, but he did remember. He looked toward the building. So many souls. “How could a warrior be lonely here?” he asked.
“Warriors,” the woman said, “are not lonely. Warriors do not cry out in death.”
He turned to demand an explanation, but she was already walking away.
“You shouldn’t come here everyday,” Eiichi said.
The woman chuckled. “I’m here because I want to be.” She half-twisted from the dishes in the sink. “You interest me.” Her voice, deep and rich, expressed emotion he had not heard directed at him since his youth, since the special girl in high school. They had promised to marry. Then came the war, and he went away. When he returned, he could not face her. He hoped that she’d assumed he’d been killed. In many ways, he had been.
But this woman—she was different, independent and confident, a mystery within herself. He knew nothing about her, and when he asked questions, she turned them back to him. He didn’t even know her age, but he liked her presence, so he never pressed the issue, fearing he’d frighten her away.
Finished, she crossed to sit beside Eiichi on the small sofa he had purchased years ago when his bones became weary of sitting on the floor. “It’s like America,” he said, and laughed. She settled beside him, then reached for his hand. Eiichi blushed, bowing his head, face warming, but he did not resist her grasp.
“Tell me about the island,” she said softly. “Was there resistance?” She drew a deep breath, let it out slowly.
Her eyes find his, briefly, and beg him to end the misery. Same as yesterday and through the night, in the early morning darkness, in his dreams. Rivulets of blood have run from her fingers, dried across her wrists, down her arms, leaving crusted puddles where sensuously long and painted fingernails had once inspired fantasies. He glances down, the blood on her thighs, down, her crippled feet, down, her bloody toes. He contemplates the bayonet on his rifle; too obvious. Instead, he could come in tonight, smother her as he’d smothered the other woman. She would die, but at least her death would be gentle compared to what she’d already been through, what she would be put through tomorrow, the next day, for as long as life clung to her. If he came here tonight, alone, her suffering could end. His fellow soldiers would not realize the truth.
Laughter rises, and Eiichi looks around to see the commander entering the room, the blade of the bayonet he carries glowing red. Eiichi’s gaze again finds the woman’s. Her eyes are still locked with his when the bayonet scorches her breasts and slices down.
Eiichi’s head remained lowered. How could he tell this woman or anyone of the horrors committed in the name of honor and patriotism?
“You found hardly any resistance at all,” she said. A pause, then, in a voice that felt as though it originated in Eiichi’s mind, the woman whispered, “Tell me about the women.”
Eiichi’s face twisted with memories, pleading eyes, screams. He started up, but the woman’s hands engulfed his arm, pulled him back gently. Then, suddenly, they moved over him, caressing, probing, gently making him her prisoner. Her mouth found his, and his eyes filled with tears. So many years. Not even prostitutes would come to him now.
His hands reached tentatively at first, then hungrily, vanishing into her clothing, racing over her tender flesh, thirsty for her breasts, her thighs, her warmth. She eased him back with strength that he had once possessed. Her fingers opened his trousers; his hands buried themselves in her hair, her head moving, her mouth moist and warm on him. She slid up his ancient body, kissing, suckling. She lifted herself above him, then lowered her hips to take him gently, fully inside.
Nearly weeping, Eiichi closed his eyes as she moved on him, her hips swaying on his. She guided his hands to her breasts, urged him to take her nipples between his thumbs and forefingers, to squeeze, squeeze harder, until he felt the warmth of blood streaming into his palms, running down his arms. She lowered herself, her mouth caressing his ear, her breath a murmur of voices, asking, “Is this what you craved? Never forced. Mercy, mercy, once, twice…”
Her weight abruptly lifted off his chest, and her thighs tightened hard against his hips, crushing. His eyes opened, and a scream built in his throat. The half-clad body of the woman he had watched his comrades nail to the wall towered over him. Her breasts hissed and bubbled, her flesh ripping, viscera flowing onto him, her red hair falling around him in thick patches. Her hands rose sharply, and he saw the knife, the point stabbing down, sinking into his chest. He screamed, nothing more than a gurgle consumed by the chant of whispers.
He woke to a searing fire in his chest and the sound of spraying water. His fingers rose slowly up his body, sliding over his stomach to his chest as he struggled for air. Gradually, he caught his wind and eased himself up, fighting the pain that had already begun to diminish bit by bit. He looked around the room, dazed, eyes settling on the figure in the kitchen. Wind whispered through the apartment’s open window. The woman wore the same skirt, blouse, and scarf she had worn the first day he’d met her. His heart quickened as he remembered. Had it been a dream? No, at least not everything. The aroma of her skin still lingered on his own. He twisted around on the sofa, setting his feet to the floor.
“You’re awake. Good.” She did not turn away from the sink where she swished rice through cleansing water. “How do you feel?”
He drew a breath. “Tired.” He swallowed, trying to comprehend. “I-I had the strangest…dream.” The words came in hushed puffs.
The woman withdrew her hands from the water and dried them on a small towel, laid it back on the counter, and faced him.
Eiichi’s mind swam as his gaze met her eyes, sadly vibrant, green-flecked.
The woman sighed softly. “How many women did soldiers kill on your island?”
Sweat glittered on his face. He’d accepted the whispers, but the hushed screams frightened him. Tears filled his eyes, and he sank to his knees beside the pond.
“Stand up, my love,” the woman said. He stiffened, disappointed but not surprised that she’d found him. He had sneaked away from the apartment, had left while she was out. “Stand up,” she repeated.
“They whisper and whisper,” he said.
“They will continue to whisper long after the sun turns this place to ash. Their kind will whisper forever.” She smiled at Eiichi, her eyes crinkling, reflecting carp that rolled in the water. She stepped beyond him and walked silently away.
Eiichi struggled to his feet and started after her. Her pace quickened.
But she was gone.
The whispers swirled in his mind. He pressed his hands to his ears, then flung them down, clenched into fists, and fled the garden for home.
Eiichi prayed that she would be there, waiting, but he found the apartment hot and empty. He knelt before the altar that bore the pictures of his mother, father, his sister and brother, himself. “What must I do…?” he asked, rocking on his knees. He lit a stick of incense, and, as the smoke washed over him, the answer came.
He went to the kitchen and found the knife, similar to the one the dream woman had used. Kneeling again before the altar, he raised the knife slowly before him, blade pointed inward. “Help me,” he whimpered to his parents, and the knife plunged. He gasped, his face draining. Blood sprayed onto his hands. His fingers flexed, grasping the knife more firmly. He drew a final breath and yanked to the side. Flesh parted, bathing his hands in the life that flowed out.
A warm breeze swept over his face. He opened his eyes to a pale ceiling. Curtains fluttered in a shaft of sunlight.
“How many women died on that island?” came the voice.
He lifted his head. The woman stood beside the altar. He snatched a breath in pain. How did I get to the couch? He pushed himself up on his elbows, memory flooding back. Blood stained the floor where the woman stood. Eiichi looked down at himself, his shirt ripped and stiff with blood. Why am I still alive? He placed a hand inside the shirt to find himself whole.
I stabbed myself, his mind shouted. I saw my own bowels fall out.
“I did not dream,” he whispered.
“My love,” the woman said, “there are no dreams.” She took a step toward him.
Another. “How many died? A hundred? A thousand…?” She stopped, reached up, her fingers removing the scarf, her hair falling loosely around her face to her shoulders.“And you…the car before the shrine, the knife…how many times, Eiichi?”
He shifted, unable to understand, terrified.
“How many…?” The scarf slipped from her fingers and drifted down.
Eiichi’s feeble eyes filled as he twisted off of the couch and fell to his knees, bowing to her, his face going to his hands as he wept. “I am sorry,” he sobbed. “What could I do?” Eiichi raised his head slowly, his body trembling in pain and despair.
“An act of mercy…?” the woman whispered.
“For one, yes.”
“You gave her escape...”
“Yes,” he sobbed.
“But the woman nailed to the wall…?”
“I was going to,” he whispered, “only…”
“You didn’t have time.” She paused a heartbeat. “And all the other women—the ones who did what was asked of them only to be tortured and killed—a lack of time for them as well?”
“I did what I could,” he shouted. He rose on trembling legs. “I tried. Please,” he begged, “leave me in peace.” His voice abruptly hardened. “I’m tired,” he said. “So very tired.”
Eiichi spun awkwardly away. The curtains fluttered. He took a step, another, and plunged through the open window, the ground slamming into him.
Questions came in awed murmurs. Eiichi struggled for breath, gradually getting the air he craved. His head thrummed with the beat of his heart. Then he heard her voice, thanking others, urging them out, the door closing, the breeze washing through the open window, the curtain flapping.
“Open your eyes,” she said, her voice floating above him. “We’re both tired, Eiichi, and we’ll rest. In time. Open your eyes.”
He obeyed to find his own sallow reflection in the gaze that hovered over him.
The woman knelt beside him, her hands loosening his shirt. She lowered her mouth to his chest and kissed gently.
Eiichi’s lips quavered. “Why…?”
Her gentle lips caressed his neck, slid to his ear, her breath moist and hot. “How many times,” she whispered, “have you died?”
C.S. Fuqua’s books include Fatherhood ~ Poems of Parenthood, Walking After Midnight ~ Collected Stories, Big Daddy’s Fast-Past Gadget, Native American Flute ~ A Comprehensive Guide, and White Trash & Southern ~ Collected Poems. His work has appeared in publications such as Year's Best Horror Stories XIX, XX and XXI, Pudding, The Horror Show, Pearl, Chiron Review, Christian Science Monitor, The Old Farmer's Almanac, The Writer, and Honolulu Magazine.
Linda Gould hosts the Kaidankai, a weekly blog and podcast of fiction read out loud that explores the entire world of ghosts and the supernatural. The stories are touching, scary, gruesome, funny, and heartwarming. New episodes every Wednesday.