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.

Jason Fischer has a story appearing in Jack Dann’s new anthology Dreaming Again.

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

We Come In Peace

by SaraG

Rat scuttled between metal legs, used to the robots getting in the way. Ever since they’d taken over and killed all the humans, they acted superior. Pretty uppity for man-made creatures, Rat thought.

Rat was unconcerned. Rat was a creature of God and his children’s children would still be here long after the robots industrialized themselves into extinction. Same thing had happened to the dinosaurs and humans, after all. The only thing that bothered Rat was that robots didn’t keep organic food around. He was positively famished. Life was better in the good old days when humans ruled the Earth.

Rat jumped over a couple metal toes, sniffing and searching for food, but stopped when he heard the robots talking.

“I hear there are some humans left up in the mountains,” the grey robot said.

“That’s stupid. We nuked ’em all. They can’t live with radiation,” the green one answered.

“Ah, but don’t they evolve? Let me see… I’m sure I had a file on evolution somewhere.”

“Dude, seriously. You’ve gotta learn to classify your chips…”

The conversation trailed off, but Rat sat, thinking. Humans meant food.

For the first time, he regretted not being a cat or a dog, an animal that humans would find cute and take in, no questions asked. But Rat had evolved too and the radiation had helped. He was no longer like the stupid rats humans used to kill. If he could make himself useful, maybe the humans would let him stay with them.

Finding the explosives wasn’t hard; mixing and transporting them was. Rat enlisted all his friends and even a couple hamsters that were strolling by. Humans would dig the explosions, specially if they killed robots. Rat set the counters while his little army stole an old Blackberry from the Human Artifacts Museum.

“We are your Allies. We come in Peace,” he typed into the rat-sized screen. Now, he only needed to find the humans and show them the message. He hoped the humans hadn’t grown too stupid to understand that alliances were a give and take and that Rat and his friends expected to be paid. In food, preferably.


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