“Tea Time with Corn Dolly”, from Trysts: A Triskaidecollection of Queer and Weird Stories by Steve Berman, (Lethe Press, 2001).

At first it wasn’t clear to me that this story was another one dealing with The Fallen Area and the character of Caleb. We are introduced to Corn Dolly, who as far as I could tell is an actual corn doll come to life. Then Caleb appears, leaning against a wall, and it’s obvious they know one another. As the story events unfold Corn Dolly refers to herself as one of the “Afflicted” and to Caleb as a “Talented”. A little while later we meet a character who is a “Glyph” (similar to our Goths). I realized there was a whole story world waiting to be revealed, and I couldn’t wait to get to the next piece of the puzzle….