Presenting a new original story, “Swift, Brutal Retaliation,” by new author Meghan McCarron, a ghost story that cautions one against trying to win a ghostly prank war against one’s dead big brother. You can’t win that sort of war, only survive it.
“Swift, Brutal Retaliation” has been nominated for the 2012 World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story.
This novelette was acquired for Tor.com by Tor Books editor Liz Gorinsky.
Two girls in wrinkled black dresses sat in the front pew at their older brother’s funeral. They had never sat in the front pew in church before, and they disliked how exposed they felt. Behind them stood their brother’s entire eighth-grade class, the girls in ironed black dresses and gold cross necklaces, the boys in dark suits, bought too big so they could get another use. Few expected more funerals, but the suits would serve for graduation in May—which, after all, was a funeral, too.