Youth Will Be Served by Andrew Fox is a deeply enthralling short story that I had the incredible joy of narrating for Nightmare Magazine, produced by Skyboat Media.
I won’t give all the details away as I hope you’ll stop by Nightmare Magazine to have a listen, but this dark tale centers around a young girl who is about to celebrate her thirteenth birthday. This is not just any birthday, as this particular girl has Hutchinson-Gilford Pregoria syndrome, a heartbreaking disease whereby a child ages rapidly and rarely sees their fourteenth birthday.
Andrew Fox’s moving story toggles between the present and fourteen years earlier where we meet a clique of elderly ladies who call themselves the “the nobody-to-call-us club.” Years ago, these ladies made a deadly deal with a sea creature called Mr. Grayback, in the hopes of regaining their youth. The terms were steep and the end result not exactly ideal, but when we return to the present, this young girl’s aunt thinks perhaps it’s time for just one more deal…if only to guarantee that her niece reaches her fourteenth birthday…
The ocean is an immense eating machine, and I’m an edible speck bobbing up and down between its lips. Waiting for it to notice me.
Are you out here?
We need to make a deal . . .