GlitterShip

GlitterShip is an LGBTQ SF&F fiction podcast - bringing you audio versions of great queer science fiction & fantasy short stories!

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episode 51: Episode #70: "The Girl With All The Ghosts" by Alex Yuschik


The Girl With All the Ghosts by Alex Yuschik   It’s her second-to-last Friday night at Six Resplendent Suns Funeral Palace and House of the Dead, and Go-Eun is getting terrible reception on her cell. Part of it’s because everyone’s on the network, but mostly it’s the ghosts, garden variety specters who unfold themselves into nine-story menaces, shadow-thin and barbed with carcinogens. Go-Eun would not have thought they could bring this many cell phone towers down running from fox mechs, but then again, she never thought she’d end up working the night shift at an inner-city funeral palace either.   Episode 70 is a GLITTERSHIP ORIGINAL and part of the Summer 2018 issue! Support GlitterShip by picking up your copy here: http://www.glittership.com/buy/   Hello! Welcome to GlitterShip episode 70 for April 11, 2019. This is your host, Keffy, and I'm super excited to share this story and poem with you. Today we have a GlitterShip original by Alex Yuschik, "The Girl With All the Ghosts" and a poem, "Chrysalis" by Kendall Evans. Before we get started, a reminder that there's still a Tiptree Honor Book sale going on for the GlitterShip Year One and Year Two anthologies on gumroad! Just go to gumroad.com/keffy and use the coupon code “tiptree,” that’s t-i-p-t-r-e-e to get the ebooks for $5 each. Just as an aside, I apologize for all—[Finn barking loudly] Finn. I apologize for the dog noises—[More loud barking]—dog noises—[barking]—in this episode. If I put them outside of my room, they cry. If I put them in the backyard, they bark at the neighbor. And if I let them in my room [dog rustling and grumble barks] they don't understand why I'm not paying attention to them.     Stories and poems by Kendall Evans have appeared in most of the major SF and fantasy magazines, including Asimov’s, Analog, Strange Horizons, Mythic Delirium Amazing Stories, Dreams & Nightmares, Weird Tales, Alien Worlds, Nebula Award Showcase, and numerous other magazines and anthologies.  His novel in verse, The Rings of Ganymede, and his novella Bring me the Head of Philip K. Dick’s Simulacrum are both available from Alban Lake Books.   Chrysalis by Kendall Evans     I. The newborn starship
Bathed in sunlight & starlight
Dries its gossamer wings
Preparing for the far reach
To the stars II. Festive-colored ribbons
Spiral.  You and I
Dance around the Maypole
At dusk
Circling
Eying one another
While we discuss
Darwinian logic III. Recombinant forms emerge
From interstellar dust
Mutate & shift & merge
Ruled by the coldest equations
And analogs of lust IV. I have watched
Exotic robots hatch
From ovoid metal shells
& Peck at nuts & bolts
Upon my parquet floors       And our story is "The Girl With All the Ghosts" by Alex Yuschik, read by Faylita Hicks. Alex Yuschik is a PhD candidate in Mathematics at the University of Pittsburgh. Besides math and writing, Alex enjoys traveling, hanging out in as many cat cafes as humanly possible, and waking up before dawn to lift heavy things and then put them back down. Their short fiction has also appeared in Escape Pod and Luna Station Quarterly. Faylita Hicks (pronouns: she/her/they) is a black queer writer. She was a finalist in the 2018 PEN American Writing for Justice Fellowship and the 2018 Cosmonauts Avenue Annual Poetry Prize. Her debut book, HoodWitch, is forthcoming October 2019 with Acre Books. Her poetry and essays have appeared in or are forthcoming in Slate, Huffington Post, POETRY magazine, Kweli Journal, The Rumpus, The Cincinnati Review, Tahoma Literary Review, Prairie Schooner, Lunch Ticket, Matador Review, Glass Poetry, Pidgeonholes, Yes Poetry, American Poetry Journal, Ink and Nebula and others. She received her MFA in creative writing from Sierra Nevada College’s low-residency program and lives in San Marcos, Texas. She is at work on a memoir.   The Girl With All the Ghosts by Alex Yuschik   It’s her second-to-last Friday night at Six Resplendent Suns Funeral Palace and House of the Dead, and Go-Eun is getting terrible reception on her cell. Part of it’s because everyone’s on the network, but mostly it’s the ghosts, garden variety specters who unfold themselves into nine-story menaces, shadow-thin and barbed with carcinogens. Go-Eun would not have thought they could bring this many cell phone towers down running from fox mechs, but then again, she never thought she’d end up working the night shift at an inner-city funeral palace either. “Load.” Go-Eun taps her phone screen again. Honestly, most of it’s not so bad, the shelves of urns and silent hallways, the familiar and calculated snake of her path through the dim ossuary. The thirtieth through fiftieth floors make up her soon-to-be-former territory, and the clamor of light pollution keeps anywhere from getting too dark. Neapolitan swipes of pink-gold-cyan bleed through from neon nightclub signs and adorn the shelves in glimmer and flash, and aisle lights frame every niche in respectful and seemingly infinite ellipses, dot-dot-dots sealing in the city’s sleeping dead. Before one gets into the mechanics of proof, it is necessary to state a few definitions that will be useful later. The building is a magpie. Listen, and it carries noises up its sides, slipping them into windows like jewels: revelers from a nearby bar stumble loudly through the ladder of numbers in Baskin Robbins 31, a TGX-Mauve/F stretches its tiger mech joints in a hiss of pneumatics, and a couple breaks up or makes love or both too near an open window somewhere in the apartment complex next door. The building is covetous. Go-Eun never needed the Six Resplendent Suns employee pamphlet to know this, but it’s listed there as well. She taps her phone again. There’s an email from her boss, asking her to reconsider quitting. Go-Eun deletes it. That’s what breaking up is, another number that won’t reply, one more open question that their system of deduction isn’t complete enough to answer. It’s exactly why Jae-Yeon won’t text her back either. Finally, the page she’s been trying to refresh comes up. YES SO AWESOME I can’t believe they kissed!!! YOU ARE A LITERAL GODDESS UPDATE SOON “There was no edge without an end, and if this was their end, he thought, then so be it.” holy shit be still my brigadier-loving heart THIS FIC I AM RUINED best Brigie/SJ ever One thousand reviews. She high-fives an urn. For an eighty thousand word slash masterpiece she’s written in the small pauses of her life, not too shabby. And it’s almost enough to make her forget about the ghosts, the hallways that stretch on and on and on, the now-empty shelves where relatives used to leave flowers and other small offerings, until Six Resplendent Suns and every other Numerical Family in charge of an ossuary mandated mourning training. Most of the time it’s beautiful and silent, a second, stiller universe to mirror the riot outside. Sometimes it’s not. Go-Eun bows and enters, bows and leaves, thumb-typing a drabble about Seo-Joon waking up as she heads to FF, the twice-cursed floor, those two unspoken hungers grating against each other like teeth in gears that don’t line up. It’s a pity her new job at the construction company probably won’t let her be on her phone as much. She’s almost finished with the scene when she pauses. In the middle of the rows, a pale shape, unsteady, picks itself up from the wreckage of an urn. Most ghosts understand they’re dead. The body gives its two weeks’ notice to the soul and the connection is gradually severed, a proof ending in a neat white box, QED, or even that infuriating the rest is left as an exercise for the reader. Only the violent ends do this: the wide gaze of the war dead, the slow unraveling of conditional and consequent, and then a soft and tremulous oh. It’s a young man, maybe Go-Eun’s age, maybe a little more. He’s wearing pilot’s fatigues, but before her mind can race to pin a mech animal to him, he spots her. The first time she saw a ghost that was not in a training video, pamphlet, or out of control and tall as a building being subdued by a mech, it was in the F2nd bathroom and something kept playing with her hair. A girl dressed in white rose behind her in the mirror like a dark star, cracked lips daring Go-Eun to look at me. The boy’s not a tiger pilot— people like Jae-Yeon stand out miles away. Not tortoise or dragon mech either. No, with reflexes that fast, eyes that dark, the boy’s got to have been a fox pilot. Most of them specify banishment immediately after cremation in their wills because they don’t want to become the things they destroy. Maybe this one didn’t. Maybe he is exactly as unlucky as spending his afterlife on floor FF implies he must be. “You,” Go-Eun says, fighting the tremble out of her voice, “are not my problem anymore. I’m quitting.” She must not be very convincing, because the boy with rogue eyes and mouth full of knives smiles at her and vanishes.   Before the ghost war, Go-Eun had two parents, a younger sister, and a house full of art. The father and sister vanished quickly, the art slowly. We can’t afford the rent anymore, her mother said after the funerals, but we need another month before we can move. The paintings were traded for old cabbage and limp fish, and their empty house became emptier. This was before Go-Eun took the Six Resplendent Suns job, before houses of the dead and funeral palaces knew they’d need people like Go-Eun. She enters in danger and leaves in safety. That’s why it pays so well. She will return when the rest of the ossuary guards are too scared to tread floors with F’s on them instead of numbers, and she will toss her badge and heavy keys to the dawn attendants for thirteen more days, her phone’s LED screen turning her into one more bright skull fading with the stars. When Go-Eun gets back to the Faintly Glimmering apartments, it is dawn and all the ghosts are quiet. She slugs down a strawberry milk in the kitchen as her mother gives her the once-over. “If I had spectral poisoning you’d see the teeth, Mom,” Go-Eun says. “Less than two weeks to go.” Star Gilded Hye-Kyeong deposits a kiss on her forehead. “I just want you to be safe, sweetheart.” Her mother works urban restoration projects. They never pay well, not as well as a job at a house of the dead, especially not Go-Eun’s. But when her mom’s team got additional funding from the city, Go-Eun turned in her letter of resignation. She’s not going to be able to fight off ghosts forever, and there are safer places to work. Go-Eun shucks the milk into the garbage and finishes a reply to a reader with an elaborate winking face. “I just feel like I’m giving up by leaving. Like I could help, but I’m choosing to run instead.” The water runs a few moments longer than it needs to. “We all do, honey. It’s part of living in this city.” Her mother is a skyscraper swaying against its ballast, the heavy weight above her head the only thing holding her still. This is all an exercise of translation, a change of variables between coordinate systems. When Hye-Kyeong says, “Six Resplendent Suns called earlier about your severance package.” what she means is: “This isn’t a game that you win.” Go-Eun says, “I’ll call them back.” What she means is: “Then why do I want to keep playing?” And she hates it, that she has to walk herself calmly through brushing her teeth and changing into an oversized t-shirt, that her hands tremble as she sheet masks before bed, feeling like a damp ghost and smelling like cherry blossoms. She writes the next chapter in her house slippers before barricading herself under the covers, hating that she can’t keep the shivers down once she shuts the blinds. It always takes until her phone runs out of battery, when she runs out of ideas for fics or her hands lack the strength to swipe out stories in which Seo-Joon and his mysterious Brigadier end up together and happy. In less than two weeks she won’t have to fall asleep with her face stuck to a notebook, with the last thing she sees ink in a pen waiting to be used, another form of hunger. Sometimes positive statements require proof by contradiction. The tenuous claim: Go-Eun is not afraid. To show this, suppose Go-Eun is afraid. Because secretly, her mother is right.   It is now possible to prove some elementary results. Suppose there is a ghost loose in an ossuary and it is your job to catch them. You may take as long as you need to solve this problem or until you retire or are injured or someone notices. Points will be taken off if you are poisoned, and you are under no circumstances allowed to die. Here is a pencil. Go. The next day, Go-Eun doesn’t pack food. She gets a kids’ meal because it’s cheap and there’s a fast food place right next to the house of the dead. Also, she likes kids’ meals. They have Havoc Party toys in them now, and she would not be half the super-fan she is if she didn’t at least collect Seo-Joon and the Brigadier. On the way into work, she waves to the tiger mechs patrolling the building, another TGX-Mauve/F and four TGX-Granite/III’s, each of them five stories tall, high enough she can’t see who’s piloting them. Before Jae-Yeon hated her, they’d met after their shifts, one girl leaving her ghosts and the other her mech. Jae-Yeon had propped a hand on her pilot’s belt and asked cavalierly if she could buy Go-Eun a tea sometime. This led to more teas. She can reverse-outline their romance into a spindly ladder of deduction: that pivotal universal introduction to the final existential elimination. Maybe that’s why she excels at this job, she’s just that good at destroying things. She makes it through the start of the F floors, pausing on FF. Something cold and cruel passes over the back of her neck. A fact nestled in an absurdity: the hollow or sometimes shaded box at the end of proofs is colloquially referred to as the mathematician’s tombstone. Go-Eun’s hand tightens around her phone, but no one’s there. FF remains quiet in its combinatorial worship, ancestors suspended in waystations to sainthood. This is what Six Resplendent Suns promises, that this mess with skyscraper-tall specters is only temporary, that you too can assure your relatives’ continued divinity with prompt monthly rent payments and the proper clearances. By the time she’s halfway through the floor, she finishes chapter revisions. Her next update will be a break-up scene, because happiness is one of the lesser hungers of the body: it can’t last if you want the story to keep going. She knew this before Jae-Yeon, but it still surprised her. Footsteps follow her along aisles, wards and sparse mourning cards moved slightly out of place. This is how it starts, the small disturbances. She opens the kids’ meal, half in defiance, half because she’s hungry, and says her quiet prayer: in all things, I will outlast you. The fries are tinier than she remembered and this injustice truly must be some small god laughing at her, but at least the chicken nuggets are good. When Go-Eun outlined her plan to collect all the Havoc Party toys this morning, her mother said she had an unsophisticated palate. Go-Eun said of course she does, that’s why she writes amateur fiction. It’s not about taste; it’s about devotion. Something clatters behind her. It always comes for you from your shadow, the history you trail behind you in a string of dark theorems, assumptions, and implications. This you may use without proof. Go-Eun whips around just as the ghost lunges. The kids’ meal hits the ground and his teeth go right through her jacket, though the protective vest she’s wearing keeps them from breaking skin. What he doesn’t expect is the glimmer and the fade, the axiomatic crawl that shivers through him when her fist connects with the side of his face, two planes intersecting in a line of ice. He staggers back into the aisle, toxins dripping from his teeth like he’s been drinking machine oil, and watches her. The rips aren’t that bad, not this time. She brushes herself off, picks up her things, and pretends she doesn’t see his eyes following her hands as she assembles the toy from the kids’ meal. He pretends he’s not still shivering from her strike. She sews the jacket up in the staff room before she goes home, a hand hesitating over the emergency intercom. One call to the banishment department and he’s toast. This ghost isn’t her problem anymore. She’s already handed in the paperwork. Doesn’t her last week and a half on the job deserve to be easy? And she and the ghost must both be good liars, because he follows her for the rest of her shifts and she’s halfway home before she realizes she’s gotten the Brigadier.   In proof, there is a technique called induction. The reader is shown how to handle an initial case and then a successor case; in short, given a set of objects and a desired property, a mathematician shows the property holds for the first object and then every object thereafter. The beauty of induction is that it traps the infinite within the finite. That is to say, as long as the structure of your proof is solid, you have created something that can run forever. During her last week, Go-Eun gets more kids’ meals and Havoc Party toys, but not Seo-Joon. Six Resplendent Suns drags its feet on termination paperwork and night after night she contemplates the emergency intercom and night after night never presses it. Because probably, it’ll be fine. The floor wards get more powerful as you descend— that is, the strength of the binding spells increases like pressure under an ocean. The pamphlet promises that escape is crushingly improbable, and surely the security of knowing one’s relative will never become the latest shade shredded by fox mechs is worth the exorbitant fees and more. The first time Go-Eun sees the ghost on F3 she nearly drops her kids’ meal. It’s not supposed to happen this fast. He’s not supposed to figure out how to get out this fast. This time he doesn’t attack. Instead, he tracks her hand as she pulls the toy out of the box, eyes so dark it’s almost impossible to tell the pupil from the iris. It takes her a moment to notice she’s finally gotten Seo-Joon. Go-Eun pauses for a moment, then holds the figurine out. “Truce?” The ghost wrinkles his nose. Yeah, she’s speaking extremely casually, but he also tried to bite her the last time, so whatever. Go-Eun shrugs and moves to put Seo-Joon in her bag because damn it, she worked hard for this, but the ghost steps forward in a rush of frost and darkness. He spreads his hands as though to say, sorry, sorry, I know it’s all a terrible inconvenience, but yes, I do want the toy. Warily, she hands it over. When the weight transfers from her hands to his, Seo-Joon’s thereness shifts. It’s hard to explain if you haven’t done this before, but it becomes easier to talk about the figurine in a different domain than its native one. The ghost runs a hand along Seo-Joon’s face, then smiles in a pull of noxious lips and serrated teeth. Once, Jae-Yeon was bitten on duty. They kept her overnight in pilots’ medical, and Go-Eun sat outside the double doors to the clean rooms, overhearing every whisper about toxicity and keen bile until a surgeon told her Jae-Yeon was stable. In the weeks following her release there were phosphorous dreams, a winding purple-black scar, and Jae-Yeon murmuring some nights it feels like I’m split between existences and whenever I meet you in all the other elsewheres you terrify me. They fell apart slowly, a universe screaming back to its point of origin. “You have a name?” Go-Eun asks the ghost. He shrugs, but when they meander back to FF he kicks something out from below a shelf. It’s a shard of an urn, bearing in red the words Iridescently Codifying Byeong-Dal. “Cool.” Byeong-Dal shakes his head like this is the least cool thing he’s heard since he died, but he keeps turning the figure over and over, like it’s something that matters. He doesn’t look like your typical Havoc Party fan, but who knows. A tiger mech moves abruptly outside, and when Go-Eun looks back at him, Byeong-Dal’s gone. Go-Eun does not see him again that night, and no matter how much fanfic she writes on her shift, when her coworkers congratulate her during her retirement party her stomach aches. Not one of them mentions her ghost or even knows how quickly this is becoming a problem.   “What if quitting doesn’t make me happy?” Her mother cooks in abrupt clatters of pots and utensils as they hash out the same argument, a tired deduction ad infinitum. The assumptions: Go-Eun came home late. Go-Eun always arrives on time except in emergencies. Conclusion: something must have gone wrong (obviously it has, there is a ghost loose and no one’s doing anything about it). “You have no weapons, no guarantees in that horrible building except your extreme good luck.” Her mother calmly checks the black bean noodles and clicks her tongue. “How could staying in a death trap make you happy?” “Sorry.” Go-Eun just wants to have dinner, not trot this out over side dishes. It’s her last stupid night at work, and when her phone buzzes with a new fanfic review she’s not sure if she’s disappointed or relieved Six Resplendent Suns hasn’t discovered her ghost yet. Idly, she clicks it. “I keep trying to tell you, you can’t have everything. Or you can ignore me because you’re too busy with your phone.” Her mother slams the refrigerator door and one of Go-Eun’s Havoc Party toys on the window sill falls into the sink. Hye-Kyeong plucks it out and swears. “Gods, you only did love useless things.” Go-Eun grabs her coat and leaves. When college still mattered, she was tutored by a grad student at SKY University who studied formal logic. They had bone-straight hair which they always wore in a ponytail and an impressive collection of blazers. In tutoring breaks, they told Go-Eun about their research. Do you know that mathematics is incomplete? They asked, balancing a mechanical pencil on a slender finger. It’s a major theorem: our system is a poor oracle, unable to divine the truth or falsehood of everything you hand it. Set theory is not adequate; it cannot answer its own most basic questions. It’s like when you finally realize how big the domain of discourse is, or how truly large infinity is, when you try to hold the universe in your head and something always escapes. Her tutor laughed. Yeah, that’s why I don’t study set theory anymore. I nearly drank myself to death. Why? Go-Eun said. It’s just math. They set their chin on their hand, spun the pencil with hooded eyes, and asked, is it? She’s half an hour too early for her shift so she stops by the fast food place for another kids’ meal (with extra fries, because they are tiny as shit). Go-Eun scrolls through her friends’ latest pictures as she climbs the ossuary stairs, and because apparently the universe is out to torture her today, Jae-Yeon’s changed her profile pic to her and her latest girlfriend, a mech repair specialist. The two of them sport identical necklaces, both winking with opposite eyes at the camera so they look a bit like a mirror in love with itself. Go-Eun has taken this same kind of photo with her other ex-girlfriends and ex-boyfriends, and all those pictures inhabit the same folder on her laptop, timelines extinguished. “Why does everything always fall apart in real life?” She fumes at Byeong-Dal on F0 and throws some fries at the ghost. He catches and eats them. “Like, why can’t I have it all?” He frowns, then opens his mouth like he’s about to say something when a fox mech careens too close to the building. There is a bright burst of ghastly light and neither the skyscraper’s steel skeleton nor its ballast prevent them from shaking when the explosion’s aftershocks hit them. Something shatters. Byeong-Dal’s eyes go wide a second before he vanishes, and Go-Eun pulls the distress signal just as the door to the stairs opens. Of all the heirs, it had to be Six Resplendent Suns Tae-Ha. He’s in his late twenties, tall and lithe in a way that makes him look like a living shadow, and his pocket square remains soldier-straight even with a bite-proof vest covering most of it. “Star-Gilded Go-Eun.” He nods. “I’m sorry to hand you a catastrophe on your last day, but here we are. Good hunting.” He takes off, greatcoat flapping. Go-Eun chases after him. “Mr. Six Resplendent Suns, if that blast really did knock over an urn then this is too dangerous for you to be here alone, even in a vest.” Tae-Ha smiles in a cutthroat kind of calculus. “Your concern is touching. Rest assured, I’m taking no risks with the chairman watching me this closely. And I am by no means alone.” Three banishers walk out of the stairwell in their pressed suits, guns drawn. “Banishers?” Go-Eun asks. “Already?” She is not adequate; she cannot answer her own most basic questions. “The threat is too great not to address immediately.” Tae-Ha coughs to cover up her too-casual address. “Please continue to exceed my expectations.” They head off. Go-Eun rushes down to Floor 37 where a dark shape waits for her. “Thank gods, you have to hide.” She’s shaking. “Banishers are here and they think you’re the escapee. Well, not like you’re not, but—” Except the shape isn’t Byeong-Dal, not the tall and silent fox pilot with sad eyes, but someone else made mad and hungry by quiescence and the veils of captivity. It smiles in a line of dripping teeth. Go-Eun runs for the stairs. The banishers are floors above her, so the wards will have to do. Her shoes skid down the stair treads, past 36 and 35, all the way to 32 where she slams the door shut, out of breath. For safety reasons, the employee pamphlet says, there is only one set of exits to each floor. It’s easier to close off that way, minimize the damage. The building is covetous, after all. A black puddle seeps under the door. This is what she’s most afraid of: that at the end of the story she, the banishers, and the ghosts are all the same shade of monster, something that talked to itself long enough to think it was a god. And then someone comes between her and the wild ghost: a familiar shape that punches through the newcomer with eerie precision, like he’s used to doing this in a mechanical body several stories taller and more vulpine. Howling, the ghost sinks its teeth into Byeong-Dal’s shoulder. His translucent skin darkens and he shakes, but he does not stop his sure and ponderous deconstruction of the rogue, not until it turns back into ash. He presents the remains to Go-Eun, weary but triumphant, his expression not unlike hers as she handed him plastic figurines all those nights before. “Thank you.” Go-Eun laughs, eyes bright. “But we have to—” The stairwell door opens. “Found it!” A woman in a black suit levels her weapon at Byeong-Dal. “Firing in three.” Byeong-Dal rises, venomous and horrible, between Go-Eun and the banishers. “No, don’t!” Go-Eun yells. But the banisher fires in a loud crack of sound, Go-Eun’s ears ring, and there’s nothing but smoke rising, dead air, and Jae-Yeon asking the same question all Go-Eun’s significant others have asked her, angrily, in tears, over texts or face-to-face: why don’t you want me anymore? On the ossuary floor is a small marble about the size of her thumbnail. It is cold when she touches it and looks wrong, too glassy or too opaque. There is no more Byeong-Dal. When Go-Eun holds the marble up to the hallway light, something in it flashes, like the hazy, indecipherable smile of a fox, like a toy, like the shell of an exploded sun. Like a boy, half-there, half-not. That has been her curse, her prayer, her promise: to outlast them all. But by all the gods, she is so damn sick of being miserable. For once it should end like it does in her stories. Her shadow trembles. She holds the tiny clouded sphere up to her bombed-out eyes, and before anyone can see what she’s doing, swallows it.   Six Resplendent Suns Tae-Ha helps her up, compliments her skill in neutralizing one of the escapees, and offers her a new job as a banisher with an impressive litany of perks, a raise, and better hours. The three banishers look smug. Go-Eun excuses herself, declines the new job, and heads to the roof of another desiccated building, so awash in floodlights it makes her shadow look like an asterisk, a little glyph with her at the center. There is one more line coming off it than usual. “Well, I didn’t think this would happen. But since you’re here, uh,” Go-Eun says, bowing low to the figure on the newest spine of her many-legged star, “I, uh, hope you don’t mind hanging around a while.” Byeong-Dal stands a shadow’s length from her and holds his hands up to the night sky, tracing their wild, starry city with his fingers. He laughs, and for the first time since she met him his teeth are completely normal. “I thought I’d never see this again.” As she walks home, Go-Eun hums and pulls out her phone to work on a new fic. Halfway through a chapter, she stops. A result is only valid if it can be repeated. And if she can rescue one ghost— She begins an email to Tae-Ha titled About That Banishing Job and laughs when she sends it. She is the last hidden library, a catalogue of ghosts, and when she hits Save, nothing is lost. This completes the induction. The rest of the proof is left as an exercise for the reader.   “Chrysalis” is copyright Kendall Evans 2019. “The Girl With All the Ghosts” is copyright Alex Yuschik 2019. This recording is a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license which means you can share it with anyone you’d like, but please don’t change or sell it. Our theme is “Aurora Borealis” by Bird Creek, available through the Google Audio Library. You can support GlitterShip by checking out our Patreon at patreon.com/keffy, subscribing to our feed, leaving reviews on iTunes, or buying your own copy of the Summer 2018 issue at www.glittership.com/buy. You can also support us by picking up a free audiobook at  www.audibletrial.com/glittership. Thanks for listening, and we’ll be back soon with a reprint of “Barbara in the Frame” by Emmalia Harrington.


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 12 April 2019  36m