Pseudopod 178: The Tamga


The Tamga

by Maura McHugh


Floating above the earth, Kulin checked the boundary around the graveyard. To his relief the hungry ghosts were contained, but the binding charms showed signs of deterioration. He cloaked his lifeforce so the dead would ignore his presence; a chill settled over his heart. He could not maintain the illusion for long.

He slipped into the sacred grove. The pallid forms of the dead, some still, other agitated, moved around the confines of the graveyard. The outlines of the grave huts loomed above them: little wooden cabins on fragile stilts, where the soul dolls resided. Underneath them lay the grave boats in which the bodies were interred.

Anger and grief saturated the atmosphere, and Kulin restrained the violent shaking that threatened to overcome him. The living were not welcome.

The Tamga stood in the middle of the cemetery. Its skinny arms stretched upwards, and its black hair flared out. Kulin shrank into himself, and concealed his life’s pulse.

About the Author

Maura McHugh

Maura McHugh is a prose and comic book writer living in Ireland. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies in the USA and Europe, and she’s had two collections published in the USA:Twisted Fairy Tales and Twisted Myths.

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About the Narrator

Cheyenne Wright

Cheyenne Wright is a freelance illustrator and concept artist. He is the color artist on the three-time Hugo Award winning steampunk graphic novel series Girl Genius, and co-creator of many other fine works; Including 50 Fathoms and the Ennie award winning Deadlands Noir for the Savage Worlds RPG. He has also produced graphics for Star Trek Online, the Champions MMO, and t-shirt designs for T.V.’s Alton Brown. He lives in Seattle with his wife, their daughter, and an ever growing stack of unpainted miniatures. In his spare time he is teaching himself animation, and narrates short stories for a variety of audio anthologies where he is known as Podcasting’s Mr. Buttery ManVoice ™

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