Sign up for the latest news and updates from The Dark Newsletter!

Podcasts

A Performance for Painted Bones

Fade in. The street is ermined in thick fog. The corner of a building solidifies through the mist, all filigree balconies and tall, winking windows. Hibiscus and hydrangea droop over the ledges like spent revellers. Figures begin to appear through the fog, most in pairs, some alone and others part of clamourous crowds. They are […]

Listen Read

In Your Wake We Sin

The jinn came to Madiha just before dawn. She sat frozen, covers pulled up to her chin with trembling hands. The jinn stared at her with insectoid black eyes that were much too big for its small, angled face. Thin lips, flat nose, papery skin stretched taut. Its legs ended in black hooves. And then […]

Listen Read

The Bone Beaters

Tentzin urged his yak up the mountain before dawn, high above the prayer flags and incense cauldrons of the staging grounds. It was spring, but too early for funerals to be conducted. Those who died over the winter would need to be brought up the mountain soon, or the weather would get too warm. He […]

Listen Read

The Name, Blurry and Incomplete in His Mind

When Jentri was ten her father, having run out of things to say, told her about the name he’d once found written in pencil on the wall above the basement sink, and about how he’d often wondered if it was still there. “Maybe you should look,” she said, and he did, and she followed him. […]

Listen Read

The Lily Rose

Wolf Street Orphanage was a house exploding with girls. The skinny tall brownstone stood crooked on a street of other brownstones, its striped curtains concealing rooms full of long hair and exuberant voices. When Headmistress Lily Rose made her thrice-daily rounds to check on her girls’ progress with their reading of Upton Sinclair and their […]

Listen Read

Twilight Travels with the Grape-Paper Man

When he appeared, the grape-paper man, I was half in half out of the fig tree in my grandmother’s courtyard. He stopped short in the war-rutted driveway and announced, “Layal! What happened to the snotty rascal I remember? You grew into a little lady.” “Who the heck are you?” I asked. “Why do you even […]

Listen Read

Too Many Ghosts

He’d paid more attention to the knife, and the face he’d brought forth from the wood, than to his left hand trembling as it gripped the cottonwood branch. The blade went into the side of his thumb smoothly, and if it had been wood he would have immediately realized he’d chosen his materials poorly, because […]

Listen Read

The House That Jessica Built

“We discussed this, Mark. She’s acting out because she’s trying to radically redefine herself.” Rue knelt down by the upstairs banister and pushed her face between the bars. She used to feel a certain sophisticated glow from being driven across town for grief therapy sessions—it satisfied her to trudge into Dr. McKinley’s office with all […]

Listen Read

The Sound That Grief Makes

Caleb had been dead for two weeks when I started pretending to be his ghost. After the funeral, Hudson couldn’t sleep. I lay in my room and listened to my son crying. Quiet tears. A big boy suddenly aware that solid things can snap and break and bleed and end up buried under freezing earth. […]

Listen Read

The Spindly Man

They let us use the community center to talk about books. It made sense. What I was doing, it was pretty much community service. Not the kind mandated by a judge. This was more self-imposed. Eight months ago, not drunk or in a rush or driving through the rain, I’d skipped through a stop sign […]

Listen Read