Unsafe, Unsound


Ethan and his family live on the outskirts of town, between civilization and the total lack of it. Ma always keeps the shotgun handy.

Ethan’s brother announces a nighttime visitor as “a dead man coming up the road”. The man surely looks halfway to death, but Ethan fears his brother, touched in the head after a long illness, sees something else. Something more.

Then the pistol on the man’s belt catches Ethan’s eye. A weapon of eerie, unearthly beauty, meant for more than the mere killing of outlaws. What trouble follows a man with a weapon like that?

“Unsafe, Unsound”, a tale for fans of western weird fiction.


Kate MacLeod lives in Minneapolis with her husband, two sons, two dogs and a cat, although they may head further north soon, as the winters in Minnesota just don’t get cold enough anymore.

Her short fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Stranger Horizons, Abyss & Apex, A Fly in Amber, Aoife’s Kiss, Beyond Centauri and Allegory as well as the Warrior Wisewoman 2 anthology.

Her short story “Din Ba Din” was an honorable mention in The Year’s Best Science Fiction: 31st Edition as well as The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2014 and was on Locus magazine’s recommended reading list for 2013 and is will be appearing in the Bulgarian magazine Terra Fantastica.