“Stuff of the Elder Gods” by K.C. Ball

February 26, 2011

Kerry Egan never got her fill of the old tales. The doings of the elder gods, heroic battles with monsters, loves found and lost. Then one winter day, the truck-stop waitress discovered that the stories her grandmother used to tell were closer to reality than Kerry could recall. [19min]


Kerry Egan twitched, as the plate-glass door slapped shut behind her. Outside the diner, the November winds howled off the flats along the river, demanding her return.

Ivy Duncan, Kerry’s co-worker, stood at the register. Two men hunched over the counter, one near Ivy, the other at the far end. Ivy’s face looked whiter than her uniform. Neither of the men turned when the door slammed. No sign of Eddie Becker, either, although his West Virginia State Police cruiser sat in the parking lot.

Something has gone wrong here.

“Help you, Ma’am?” Ivy asked.


Ivy’s head never moved but her eyes turned toward the end of the counter. Kerry risked a look and spotted gleaming black uniform boots, toes up, on the floor. Brand-new Rockies, like the pair Eddie showed her yesterday.

One of Kerry’s notions had come that morning. Nana Comer used to call them second sight. Bundled in her bed, snug against the cold, reading that new book of old poetry, Kerry heard a whisper. Stay home today.

She should have listened.



Ada McMurray February 26, 2011 at 9:28 PM

Lovely story! Nice bit about rediscovering self.

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