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.

Kat Beyer’s Cabal story “A Change In Government” has been nominated for a BSFA award for best short fiction.

Sara Genge’s story “Godtouched” may be found in Strange Horizons.

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

Still Life with Apocalypse

by Rudi Dornemann

Among the ruins of a city unmade by years: a lean-to, a fire, a pair of ragged figures watching open cans bubble on the cracked stones ringing the fire. Corn, beans, peas: vegetables harvested three generations or more ago.
“Succotash,” said the older woman.
“Is it?” said her companion. “I didn’t know that had peas in it.”
“Close enough,” said the first.
Among the shadows, a pair of even more ragged figures watching the fire-watchers.
“Succulent,” said the zombie with one arm.
“Are they?” said the zombie with half a face. “I didn’t know there were any left who weren’t all tough and gristly.”
“Close enough,” said the first.
Among the dimensions, a pair of many-tentacled entities watching the watchers.
“Supplicants,” said the one oozing green etheric radiation.
“Are they?” said the one oozing blue. “I didn’t know there were any left who remembered us, let alone think of us as something to worship.”
“Close enough,” said the first.
The older woman reached for the tin of beans, but didn’t wrap enough of her sleeve over her palm, and dropped the can with a yelp, knocking all the vegetables into the fire.
The one-armed zombie startled back at the hiss and steam cloud that arose, and jostled a pane of glass free from its dry-rot fragile frame. At the crash, the humans looked up from trying to spoon their supper out of the ashes, ran up the steps of the municipal library and slammed the huge doors with a boom.
The green-oozing entity felt a pang of melancholy at the echoing of the sound — the exact note of the corpse-drums that had once been beaten in accompaniment to unspeakable rites in the entity’s honor. Its blue-oozing companion vibrated sympathetic sorrow. The humans found themselves remembering unruined days, but that was nothing unusual; that was how they spent most evenings. The zombies, however, found themselves longing for the taste, not of blood or brains, but of mixed vegetables, still metallic from the tin. This desire, among the ruins of memory, was nothing like fulfillment but, for this one evening, it was close enough.

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.