Substitutions by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Silas has worked for Death in Nevada for 150 years. He gets Christmas and Christmas Eve off. Only this year, his substitute finds him in a Las Vegas casino. His substitute, little more than a boy, given a task that terrifies him.
If the boy finishes the task, he gets a permanent job. If he doesn’t, a dozen kids live in agony.
Silas hates the choice. He wants to tell the boy, That’s the job. Get used to it. But he can’t abandon the poor boy on Christmas…
Chosen as one of the best short mystery stories of the year.
“Rusch’s short fiction is golden.”
—Kansas City Star
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