by Kim Newman
“The Only Ending We Have” was first printed in Psycho-Mania! in October 2013, edited by Stephen Jones, then in a Year’s Best edited by Ellen Datlow. Have a biscuit (US: cookie) every time you clock a reference to an Alfred Hitchcock title.
Kim Newman is a novelist, critic and broadcaster. His fiction includes the Anno Dracula series, Life’s Lottery, Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the D’Urbervilles and An English Ghost Story; his non-fiction includes Nightmare Movies and BFI Classics studies of Cat People, Doctor Who and Quatermass and the Pit. He co-wrote the comic miniseries Witchfinder: Mysteries of Unland and the plays The Hallowe’en Sessions and The Ghost Train Doesn’t Stop Here Any More. He is a contributing editor to Sight & Sound and Empire magazines. His latest novel is The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School. He is on Twitter as @AnnoDracula.
Your narrator – Christiana Ellis is an award-winning writer and podcaster, currently living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her podcast novel, Nina Kimberly the Merciless was both an inaugural nominee for the 2006 Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction: Long Form, as well as a finalist for a 2006 Podcast Peer Award. Nina Kimberly the Merciless is available in print from Dragon Moon Press. Christiana is also the writer, producer and star of Space Casey, a 10-part audiodrama miniseries which won the Gold Mark Time Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Production by the American Society for Science Fiction Audio and the 2008 Parsec Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Drama. In between major projects, Christiana is also the creator and talent of many other podcast productions including Talking About Survivor; Hey, Want to Watch a Movie? and Christiana’s Shallow Thoughts.
“The windshield wipers squeaked … like shrilling fiddles, scraped nerves, the ring of an unanswered phone. Another reason to trade in her ‘57 Ford Custom. For 1960, she’d like something with fins. Not that she could afford next year’s showroom model.
Unless Hitch coughed up the ransom.
For the thing it was all about. The mcguffin.
The thing the audience doesn’t care about, but the characters do.
‘Good eeeev-ning,’ Hitch said, every goddamn morning … like in his TV show with that nursery/graveyard tune burbling in the background. ‘Funeral March of the Marionettes’. Dump-da- dumpity-dump- da-dump…”