When It Ends, He Catches Her • 2014 • Weird short story by Eugie Foster

★★★

Meta: isfdb. This weird short story appeared on September 26th, 2014, the day before Eugie Foster’s death. It was nominated for the 2014 Nebula Award

Synopsis: Asa is a ballet dancer in a world turned zombie. She continues her performances on a derelict stage without audience, missing only her perfect partner Balege. He returns after his daily routine to remember her and dance with her.

This was where the curtains were supposed to come furling down and the audience was supposed to leap to its feet in a frenzy of adoration. But there was no one to work the ropes and pulleys, and the rows of benches in the theater were all empty. It didn’t matter. She didn’t dance for the accolades and applause.

Review:  The ugly sides of zombieness feel a bit unmotivated and rushed, but I liked how this story kept on the beautiful side with only some tense moments creeping in. The setting shows up only after a while and doesn’t storm the reader but Foster introduces it gently. In the end, it is more atmosphere than story, but as such it is a good one.

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