In the time of our crawling Night Lord’s ascendancy, foretold by exodus of starlight into his sucking astral wounds, I turned sixteen and received Barbie’s Dream Car.
So the story begins. Hester Blake is the latest in a family of seers that has made a deal with Lovecraftian horrors to be spared in apparently regularly-occurring dread catastrophes, in exchange for recording them for the future. Bored and waiting for her fate, she mopes around Aunt Mar’s for the summer, only for the said dread ascension to begin. According to the omens, an abyssal king will come forth and take a human bride to the underdepths in unholy matrimony. The bride: ditzy popular girl Rainbow Kipley. And indeed that comes to pass – but the other bride is Hester herself.
I really liked this. It’s meant to be light-hearted and fun, and it is very good at that. I personally didn’t see that cute twist coming. I’ve read other stories that similarly juxtapose purple prose with banal slang for comedic purposes; this one actually pulls it off rather than being annoying and tweeny. It’s a YA novelette that everyone can enjoy.
This short story is by Tamsyn Muir, and was a 2015 Nebula Award nomination. I read this in the Long List Anthology, Volume 2, published 2016.