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The Longest Road in the Universe: A Collection of Fantastical Tales

The Ruin of Beltany Ring: A Collection of Pagan Poems and Tales


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Casting Sin


MLA Entry: 

"Casting Sin." Murky Depths May 2008: 64-67. Print.

"Casting Sin." South Haven: Triskele Media Press, 2015. Digital file.

"Casting Sin." The Longest Road in the Universe: A Collection of Fantastical Tales. South Haven: Triskele Media Press, 2016. 77-83. Print.


A woman scapegoated by her community runs a magical gauntlet which ends in either freedom or death in the vignette "Casting Sin." Available in Issue #4 of the British magazine Murky Depths. Ed Norden's illustration for the story can be viewed here.


C.S. MacCarth’s “Casting Sin” is cast in the same vein as Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.” Hedea’s town has turned against her, using her age as the reason to make her the target in a classic scapegoat ritual. If she can survive a walk through the length of the town while the people, who have taken everything from her—from her loom to her home—pelt her with objects that symbolize and mystically transfer their sins to her, they’ll let her live as an exile. But if she falls beneath their vicious attack, they will kill her, exterminating their own sins along with her body. A human tale depicting the worst side of humanity, it captures both the horror of superstition and the possible truth in it.

- The Fix

Simply put, Excellent short story. I want a whole novel written around this person and how they came to be where they are.

- spyderchick (Amazon Reviewer)

Errata & Notes: 

Published under the name C.S. MacCarth.

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Random Quote

A human being is part of the whole, called by us "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole [of] nature in its beauty.

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