The bus turns left off Langworthy Road and onto the approach to the A6. Just before it goes under the overpass, past the old Jewish cemetery at the top of Brindleheath Road and on past Pendleton Church, it stops and Dermot gets on.
He gets a few funny looks, does Dermot, as he climbs aboard, but then he always does. It’s hard for people to put their fingers on it. Maybe it’s the way his bald head looks a bit too big. Or the fishy largeness of his eyes behind the jar-thick spectacles. The nervous quiver of his pale lips, perhaps.
Or perhaps it’s just how pale he is. How smooth. His skin- his face, his hands- are baby-smooth and baby-soft. Like they’ve never known work, and hardly ever known light.
All that and he’s in a suit, too. Quite an old suit, and it’s not a perfect fit- maybe a size too large- but it’s neat and clean and well-maintained. Pressed. Smooth.
And of course, there’s the briefcase.
It’s old-fashioned, like something out of the ‘seventies, made out of plain brown leather. He doesn’t carry it by the handle. He hugs it close against his chest. Like a child.
About the Author
‘Simon Bestwick is brilliant,’ the Guardian says; he thinks they’re probably wrong, but being British, also thinks it would be very impolite to disagree with them. Originally from Manchester, he now lives on the Wirral with his long-suffering wife, the author Cate Gardner. By now he’s responsible for five novels, four short story collections, and a chapbook, Angels Of The Silences. A new collection is in the works.
He has two new novels out in December: The Feast Of All Souls, a supernatural/urban fantasy novel from Solaris Books, and Devil’s Highway, the second book in the post-apocalyptic Black Road quartet. It and the first book, Hell’s Ditch, are both available from Snowbooks.
About the Narrator
Alasdair Stuart is a professional enthusiast, pop culture analyst, and writer. He is a Hugo Finalist for Best Fan Writer, and a British Fantasy Society Best Non-fiction finalist for his weekly pop culture newsletter The Full Lid.
His nonfiction can be found at numerous genre and pop culture venues, including regular columns at the Hugo Award-winning Ditch Diggers and Fox Spirit Books. His game writing includes ENie-nominated work on the Doctor Who RPG and After The War from Genesis of Legend.
He co-owns the Escape Artists Podcast Network and hosts their horror podcast, PseudoPod, along with the Hugo Award nominated science fiction podcast, Escape Pod. He is a frequent guest and presenter on podcasts, with voice acting credits including the 2019 AudioVerse Award-winning The Magnus Archives.
His second collection of expanded essays from PseudoPod, The PseudoPod Tapes Volume 2: Approach with Caution, is available from Fox Spirit Books.