Issue 304

By Rick Kennett

Sean O’Donnell and Michael Kelly, going together down that long, long trail a-winding, heard in the darkness ahead a wavering, tuneless voice singing, “Twas a beautiful day in May and Spring was in the weather when a wee leprechaun and dear Mother Machree in sweet harmony sung together *hic* …  Ye gunna die! Ooooo ye gunna die!”

Sean and Michael had been discussing who’d been responsible for putting them in their present predicament, walking in the dark side by side. For the life of them however they couldn’t remember what had caused the jaunting-car to overturn, though they recalled the pony shying at something in the road as they’d entered Eringle Truath in County Monaghan for the St Patrick’s Day festivities. Not that it much mattered. It mattered even less when they heard that weird singing, slurred and uncertain, followed by that ghastly, keening shriek.

They stopped and stared into the dark ahead. What had caused the upsetting of the jaunting-car mattered not at all now when they beheld an indistinct figure emerge from out the blackness, nodding and swaying, the whole blurred in a soft goblin-glow. Advancing unsteadily it resolved into the form of a woman, slender, almost skeletal, her long straggly hair in wild disarray. Crying softly to herself and clad in a shroud spotted in soil and mould and blood she staggered towards them.

At once they recognized the dreadful woman as Ireland’s ancient harbinger of ill fortune and foreteller of death, the banshee.

She stumbled on, preceded by a miasma that was not the smell of death but of strong drink. She jabbed out a dagger-like finger at the startled two, all the while attempting to fix Sean and Michael with unfocused watery eyes behind half-mast lids.

"Ye gunna *hic* …dieeeeee! Ooooo! Ye gunna … er …. um … ye gunna … um …er … sumfing …"

"Die?" Sean suggested.

"Aye, die!" shrieked the banshee in full funeral glee, arms windmilling to retain a questionable balance. "Ye gunna die!" She stumbled sideways, legs entangling as she sang to herself, dreamily, dirge-like and badly out of tune. “Oh Danny Boy, the pints, the pints are callin’.” An arm thrust out, the dagger finger pointing. Upwards. Downwards. At herself. "Ye gunna *hic*... um ... thingy!"

"Would I be right in t’inking tis St Paddy’s blessed day you’ve been celebrating, missus?" asked Michael.

Unheeding but with knees bending and swivelling, she wobbled past into the consuming darkness beyond, shroud flapping in an unseemly manner. Arms flailing. Hair streaming. Intermittent soprano keening mixed with cries of "Ye gunna … Ye gunna …" growing fainter and fainter until with a wet belch it lapsed into abrupt silence somewhere in the black oblivion.

Michael turned his broken neck to look into Sean's bloodied face. "Did she foretell we’re going to die?"

Sean nodded. “Sure and in her state she’d be arsewise foretelling the winner of a one horse race, never mind our decease."

Ectoplasm drifting in their tracks, together they continued down that long, long trail a-winding.

rocket crux 2 75

About the Author

rick kennett 200I'm a life-long resident of Melbourne, Australia, and until a few months ago worked in the transport industry. Now retired I live the life of an idler and a ne’er-do-well.

My SF and ghost stories have appeared in many magazines, podcasts and anthologies including two recently published, The Ghosts & Scholars Book of Follies and Grottoes and Damnation Games.

I have five books up on Amazon and I still live the life of an idler and a ne'er-do-well. However Cathavan Press in the UK will shortly be bringing out a new edition of "472 Cheyne Walk: Carnacki, the Untold Stories", originally published in 2002. This is a collection I wrote with UK author Chico Kidd, based on the Carnacki the Ghost-Finder stories of Edwardian writer William Hope Hodgson.



Issue Contributors

The AntiSF Radio Show

antipod-show-50Our weekly podcast features the stories from recently published issues, often narrated by the authors themselves.

Listen to the latest episode now:

The AntipodeanSF Radio Show is also broadcast on community radio, 2NVR, 105.9FM every Sunday evening at 7:00pm.

You can find every broadcast episode online here: 

Meet the Narrators

  • Mark English

    mark english 100Mark is an astrophysicist and space scientist who worked on the Cassini/Huygens mission to Saturn. Following this he worked in computer consultancy, engineering, and high energy research (with a stint at the JET Fusion Torus).

    All this science hasn't damped his love of fantasy and science fiction. It has, however, ruined his

  • Laurie Bell

    lauriebell 2 200

    Laurie Bell lives in Melbourne, Australia and is the author of "The Stones of Power Series" via Wyvern's Peak Publishing: "The Butterfly Stone", "The Tiger's Eye" and "The Crow's Heart" (YA/Fantasy).

    She is also the author of "White Fire" (Sci-Fi) and "The Good, the Bad and the Undecided" (a

  • Sarah Jane Justice

    Sarah Jane Justice 200Sarah Jane Justice is an Adelaide-based fiction writer, poet, musician and spoken word artist.

    Among other achievements, she has performed in the National Finals of the Australian Poetry Slam, released two albums of her original music and seen her poetry

  • Ed Errington

    ed erringtonEd lives with his wife plus a magical assortment of native animals in tropical North Queensland.

    His efforts at wallaby wrangling are without parallel — at least in this universe.

    He enjoys reading and writing science-fiction stories set within intriguing, yet plausible contexts, and invite readers’ “willing suspension of

  • Alistair Lloyd

    alistair lloyd 200Alistair Lloyd is a Melbourne based writer and narrator who has been consuming good quality science fiction and fantasy most of his life.

    You may find him on Twitter as <@mr_al> and online at <...

  • Tim Borella

    tim borellaTim Borella is an Australian author, mainly of short speculative fiction published in anthologies, online and in podcasts.

    He’s also a songwriter, and has been fortunate enough to have spent most of his working life doing something else he loves, flying.

    Tim lives with his wife Georgie in beautiful Far

  • Juliette Cavendish

    juliette cavendish 200Juliette Cavendish was born in Liverpool UK and is of Welsh and Norwegian heritage. Juliette has an interest in Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Science and writes in both Science Fiction and Contemporary Fiction genres. Juliette was fascinated with space as a

  • Michelle Walker

    michelle walker32My time at Nambucca Valley Community Radio began back in 2016 after moving into the area from Sydney.

    As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, I recognised it was definitely God who opened up the pathways for my husband and I to settle in the Valley.


  • Emma Gill

    Emma Louise GillEmma Louise Gill (she/her) is a British-Australian spec fic writer and consumer of vast amounts of coffee. Brought up on a diet of English lit, she rebelled and now spends her time writing explosive space opera and other fantastical things in

  • Sarah Pratt

    sarah pratt 200Sarah Pratt is an avid fiction writer and a Marketing Consultant.

    She is currently working on her first novel but loves diving into short stories to bring a little lightness, intrigue or humour to the day.

    Her work has appeared in Sponge Magazine and The Commuting

  • Barry Yedvobnick

    barry yedvobnick 200Barry Yedvobnick is a recently retired Biology Professor. He performed molecular biology and genetic research, and taught, at Emory University in Atlanta for 34 years. He is new to fiction writing, and enjoys taking real science a step or two beyond its known boundaries in his

  • Marg Essex

    marg essex 200Margaret lives the good life on a small piece of rural New South Wales Australia, with an amazing man, a couple of pets, and several rambunctious wombats.

    She feels so lucky to be a part of the AntiSF team.


  • Geraldine Borella

    geraldine borella 200Geraldine Borella writes fiction for children, young adults and adults. Her work has been published by Deadset Press, IFWG Publishing, Wombat Books/Rhiza Edge, AHWA/Midnight Echo, Antipodean SF, Shacklebound Books, Black Ink Fiction, Paramour Ink Fiction, House of Loki and Raven & Drake