In "Singing My Sister Down," the most heartbreaking of the stories in Black Juice, a boy must watch as his sister Ikky, condemned for killing her husband, slowly sinks into a pit of tar until it covers her nose and mouth. "My Lord's Man" is a story in a different vein- it tells the story of Mullord's wife Mullady. The third story, "Red Nose Day," tells the story of a vengeful young man and his friend, Jelly.
I read "Singing My Sister Down" three times before I went on to read any of the other stories. Every time, I could not get the idea of tar creeping up over my body to suffocate me out of my mind and, even though I knew so little of Ikky, I wanted justice for her. One line, in particular, killed me: her brother thinking "this is not about me, Ikky. This is not at all about me."
I was really amazed by how, in just a few pages, Margo Lanagan managed to make me care so much about the characters and their fates that I could hardly bear to read the end of the story.