Other Stories in this issue


by M. Bennardo

About the Author: M. Bennardo's short stories have been published in ASIMOV'S SCIENCE FICTION, BENEATH CEASELESS SKIES, SHOCK TOTEM, SHOTGUN HONEY, and others.


“God has surely cursed us tonight,” moaned Widow Pensy. “Just as He has cursed every human ambition since Babel.”

“Quiet!” hissed Widow Cantrip in response.

“Hst—!” warned Widow Meeks, quietest of all.

The three women bunched together in a dark corner of the ship’s officers’ dining room, peering through the half-open hatch leading to the captain’s private cabin. They wore black—all three of them. Not the new head-to-foot crape of full mourning, but rather the dull woolen frocks of two-year-old half-mourning: the blacks mixed with somber purples and greys and forest greens.

But black enough yet to cloak them from view on a moonless night—even over a groaning gangplank laid against the dock, and then across a whaler’s wide deck to the very sanctuary of the captain’s private cabin—

And then, of course, the clouds had parted and the moon had shone full forth.

“Verily, He has cursed us—” moaned Widow Pensy again, and got two sharp elbows in the ribs for her trouble.

Widow Cantrip crept closer into the cabin, gently pushing the door wider. Two years they had waited for the ship’s return from the South Pacific! Yes, two years they had waited for this chance! This chance to repay the insult dealt to their dead husbands, and to reclaim part of the money that had been stolen from their children.

Story Comments

Jan 24 - Scott Merrow

Nice revenge tale. Great characters. A well-told story.

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