Kelly Link reads “The Hortlak,” from her short story collection Magic for Beginners. “The Hortlak” is a Turkish word, meaning revenant, or ghost. Eric and Batu work at the All Night Convenience store across the road from the Ausible Chasm, at the bottom of which lies a vast zombie city. Zombies stop in at the All Night on their way to the chasm. Are Eric and Batu part of some kind of “new retail” experiment designed to study the shopping habits of zombies? Will Eric ever get the nerve to talk to Charley, the woman who works at the local SPCA putting dogs to sleep?
“The Hortlak” was first published in Ellen Datlow’s ghost story anthology The Dark. Most recently it’s been translated into Japanese by Motoyuki Shibata for an anthology of recent fiction by American writers.
That city, still burning.