Plugs

Angela Slatter’s story ‘Frozen’ will appear in the December 09 issue of Doorways Magazine, and ‘The Girl with No Hands’ will appear in the next issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.

Read Rudi’s story “Detail from a Painting by Hieronymus Bosch” at Behind the Wainscot.

Luc Reid writes about the psychology of habits at The Willpower Engine. His new eBook is Bam! 172 Hellaciously Quick Stories.

Susannah Mandel’s short story “The Monkey and the Butterfly” is in Shimmer #11. She also has poems in the current issues of Sybil’s Garage, Goblin Fruit, and Peter Parasol.

Dear Diary: A Week To Forget

by SaraG

Monday,

Dear Diary:

The Ministers have left and they didn’t kill anyone this time, but
Momma is pregnant and it shows. The neighbours don’t stop talking
about it. Even Susan’s mother told her not to play with me (she’s
still my friend though).

When we went for groceries a woman said:

“You would’ve thought she’d had enough with the first one, that devil
daughter of hers.” She wasn’t quiet either, she wanted us to hear.

“Well, I don’t think they’re much trouble to her, not if they come out
as easily as they go in,” said the woman next to her. I know that
lady. She lives just down the block.

I pulled Mamma’s sleeve and whispered that I’d knock them if she’d let
me, but she hushed me up and we kept shopping.

Old Beth was the only one in that store who was good to us and gave us
a fig and a godliver each. She’s been all quiet since the Ministers released her from
cus-to-dy, but she says she can’t forget how Momma got her out.

When we left the store, Momma said:

“Don’t pay them no mind. If it weren’t for me, the Ministers would’ve
burned us all at the stake. You just remember that, baby.”

Wednesday,

Dear Diary,

The whole town turned up at our doorstep. I didn’t want her to open
the door, but Momma said she wanted to “get it over with”.

They took her away. They had pitchforks and knives, but she went
quietly. I shouted and kicked, but Old Beth grabbed me and held me
back.

She returned at dawn, bald. Dear Diary, they’d cut off her hair! It
was all long and black and so beautiful you wouldn’t believe.

“Don’t worry,” she said. “It’ll grow back, darling. It grew back when I
had you.” Momma was crying. Don’t think I’ve ever seen her cry before.

What did the townspeople want her hair for? Whatever it was, they’re
going to pay.

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