Plugs

Alex Dally MacFarlane’s story “The Devonshire Arms” is available online at Clarkesworld.

Read Daniel Braum’s story Mystic Tryst at Farrgo’s Wainscot #8.

Ken Brady’s latest story, “Walkers of the Deep Blue Sea and Sky” appears in the Exquisite Corpuscle anthology, edited by Jay Lake and Frank Wu.

Edd Vick’s latest story, “The Corsair and the Lady” may be found in Talebones #37.

Parthenia Rook V: In Rio de Janeiro with a Gnome

by SaraG

The garden gnome had never envisioned himself parading in Rio de Janeiro dressed only in feathers, a pineapple hat and a thong, but when Parthenia Rook came to him and asked his help to defeat the Bonobo King… well, she was a superheroine in leather pants. Besides, at that stage, nobody had mentioned thongs.
Parthenia’s costume was rather more elaborate. Albert thought she must be carrying about a hundred pounds of fruit which, sadly, covered her from head to foot. Her plan was to infiltrate one of the blocos and parade through the city. Bonobo King would not be able to resist their fruity head-ornaments and when he approached them and tried to steal their irresistible mangoes and bananas, Parthenia would knock him out with her patented leather-boot triple kick. It seemed like a fool-proof plan at the time. Alas, as many other fool-proof plans in superhero history, it wasn’t.

When they saw the Bonobo King, Parthenia Rook pushed the gnome behind her and faced her archenemy. Albert thought it was very heroic of her and peered out from behind her fruity derriere.

“At last we meet, Bonobo King,” she said.

The Bonobo King’s eyes darted from bananas to oranges to melons. He seemed frozen with indecision. Finally he knuckled up to Parthenia and reached up for the cherry dangling from her ear. Parthenia jumped forward… and toppled over from the sheer weight of the fruit basket attached to her head.

Albert stared at the Bonobo King over the fallen heroine’s body.

“Er… at last we meet…” It didn’t sound as portentous as he’d hoped. “Fruit, anyone?”

The Bonobo King put the cherry in his mouth and stared at the garden gnome. His face twisted into a mask of pure evil. Then he started laughing. Albert thought he was never going to stop. He pointed at Albert and jumped up and down, eyes watering and belly rumbling. Mortified, the garden gnome wished Bonobo King would get on with business and kill him already, but then the ape went blue in the face, started coughing and toppled over.

Parthenia Rook emerged from the mountain of fruit. “Cherry pits plus laughter. Never fails,” she said, marching triumphantly over the Bonobo King’s body. “Thank you. I couldn’t have done this without you, Albert.”

Albert trailed behind. “Aren’t you gonna, you know, check that he’s really dead?”

“No, superheroes never double-check stuff. There is such a thing as style.” Albert glanced back doubtfully: he was sure he’d seen that ape twitch.

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