Plugs

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.

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

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.

David Kopaska-Merkel’s book of humorous noir fiction based on nursery rhymes, Nursery Rhyme Noir 978-09821068-3-9, is sold at the Genre Mall. Other new books include The zSimian Transcript (Cyberwizard Productions) and Brushfires (Sams Dot Publishing).

Parthenia Rook, Episode 7: The Gory Candlestick

by Luc Reid

The Bonobo King paced the marble floor of his bedroom in his crimson silk pajamas, unable to sleep again.

His spider monkey lover, Flamenca, stirred in the massive canopy bed. “Come to bed, darling,” she said in a sleep-heavy voice. “Whatever it is, you can destroy it in the morning.”

“That’s exactly it,” said the Bonobo King. “I haven’t been able to destroy it. It … her … Parthenia Rook. I’ve tried every approach conceivable–an android toddler, zombie photographers, an opposite gender identical twin raised to evil, unbalancing her fruit … if it weren’t for my esophogeal implants, that last miscalcuation would have cost me my life!”

“Let me take your mind off it,” said Flamenca, tracing a fold in the gold-embroidered coverlet with one slender toe. “You’ll come up with another evil plan tomorrow.”

“But if I do, it will come to ruin,” said the Bonobo King. “My evil plans are much too fiendishly clever to fail this often. Someone or something is foiling them.”

“But no one’s smarter than you, darling. And no one could foil your plans unless he were as clever as you are.”

The Bonobo King stopped short as an ugly realization came to him. Flamenca must have noticed, for her toe froze in place, and she said in a very careful tone, “What is it?”

“No one is smarter than I am, and only someone as clever as I am could foil my own plans,” he said. “Ergo, I am my own nemesis. For some reason I cannot fathom, I am sabotaging my own evil schemes.”

Flamenca gasped and the Bonobo King turned and leaped onto the bed, where he crouched over her tiny form. “What?” he said. “What did you think of just then?”

A tear trickled down her furry little cheek, and she shook her head, trembling.

“What is it?” he roared.

“You’re …” she whispered, “You’re in love with her, aren’t you?”

The Bonobo King screeched with fury and indignation. Snatching a heavy gold candlestick from beside the bed, he struck at Flamenca with it, smashing it down on her fragile body until she was little more than a smear of bloody fur.

Bits of brain stuck to the candlestick, and the Bonobo King threw it aside in disgust as he hopped calmly off the the bed. He resumed his pacing.

“Yes,” he said pensively. “You may be right.”

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