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

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.

Jonathan Wood’s story “Notes on the Dissection of an Imaginary Beetle” from Electric Velocipede 15/16 is available online.

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

Straight Out to Yurtville

by Kat Beyer

To celebrate our first anniversary, each of us here at the Cabal has written a story beginning with a line kindly provided to us by Jay Lake. Click the link at the bottom of the page to see the stories Alex, Dan, David, and Edd have come up with, and check back Monday to see what Luc Reid does…

Zoli liked to hang around psychiatrists’ waiting rooms to hit on the low self-esteem chicks. The waiting room on the Pacific zeppelin was the best, because every time the airship lurched the chick would fall into him and many pleasant sensations would result, usually up in her cabin after her session was over.

And then, landing in Tokyo, taking her cell number, and skipping town for Ulan Bator while the piece of paper with her number on it got washed down a gutter with the cherry blossoms in the Asakusa district. He always went to the temple before he left town. A couple of prayers to Her Holiness Kannon were a good idea: somebody had to have mercy on him, and the Goddess of Mercy was best qualified, right? Light a couple of incense sticks and head straight for Yurtville, the last place some clingy chick would look.

Zeppelin Freak Number 23 was pretty hot for a low self-esteem chick. She slouched like a professional, which made it easier to see down her shirt, although she had a face worth looking at too, an Ethiopian princess thing going on, even if she didn’t take care of her skin–pockmarks on her chin and cheeks screamed “I hate me!” Perfect. Sarcastic and sad, even in bed. He found himself trying to cheer her up when he should’ve been getting off. She almost didn’t give him her phone number.

“You won’t call,” she said.

“Yes I will,” he lied, kissing her on the cheek.

Three incense sticks and two airships later, he settled into his guest yurt, thinking about Genghis Khan, who would never have screwed chicks who hated themselves. But old Genghis wouldn’t have had a problem getting laid. Zoli drank too much airag and stayed up late playing dice with his landlord (also named Genghis).

In the night she stood over him, shoulders back this time, face like an Ethiopian queen this time, pockmarks royal instead of ugly, and she struck him about the face with the long sleeves of her kimono.

“You said you would call, and you didn’t!” She roared in a voice meant for velvet compassion. He got a boner even in terror.

“And then you had the gall,” she continued, leaning close, “the appalling gall, to light three sticks of incense at my shrine and pray to me for mercy? You’re an idiot.”

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One Response to “Straight Out to Yurtville”

  1. John Q. Critic Says:

    April 11th, 2008 at 3:42 pm