“The Forever People” by Robert V.S. Redick

(Originally published in Fearsome Journeys.)

When Majka stepped out through the kitchen door at dusk she found a huge white weasel in the garden. Brazen, it locked eyes with her: a rare chelu, a ghost weasel, halfway between the garden wall and the little ramp by which the chickens entered the barn. Majka hissed. The chelu answered with a growl. The animal was nearly the size of a wolverine.

The door stood open behind her. From within came the eager thok thok of her mother-in-law’s knife as she battled a turnip, then a chord from the mandolin her son was learning to play. They had borrowed the instrument from a neighbor; it was scratched and worn, and the neck felt slightly loose, but the family treated it like the relic of a saint. It had changed their evenings, brought life to those shadow-swamped rooms.

Majka closed the door. She would face the chelu with the axe from the wood-splitting stump. Never taking her eyes from the creature, she backed along the... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy