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.

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

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

Trent Walters, poetry editor at A&A, has a chapbook, Learning the Ropes, from Morpo Press.

Secret Pocket

by SaraG

Warning: this story contains explicit violence towards a child. If the subject matter disturbs you, or if you just don’t feel like reading this kind of thing now, you should probably move on. Check out our archives: there’s lots of stories in there that you might like.


Limp crept into camp. He hoped to get good night’s sleep before having to face Chief. He thought of the nano in his secret pocket, enough to buy a house, and leaned on the branch he carried for balance. He’d been away for three days and he’d lost the crutch. His mother wouldn’t be happy.

“Patrice, is that you? Where have you been, you idiot boy?” Only his mother called him Patrice.

He tried to look as tired and bruised as he felt, but she came at him at full speed and slapped him before he could talk.

“You better have something for Chief, boy. He’s been looking for you everywhere and he’s not happy. What are you hiding? Where is it?”

Limp produced a couple of computer chips, a vial of penicillin and some nano. Finally, his mother was satisfied and stopped hitting him.

The boy got up and hopped to his tent, but was intercepted by Chief himself. Limp was prepared. He threw the rest of the nano at Chief’s feet. Chief looked doubtful. It was more than could be expected from three days of scavenging, but he kicked Limp a couple of times for good measure. Limp sighed and took the wad of compressed nano out of his secret pocket.

“That’ll teach you to keep things from me!” Chief threw Limp a worthless chit.

Limp washed the blood off his face and examined his body for broken bones. The lead residue under his skin protected him from the worst of the sun’s radiation, but it also gave him a molted color that kept most of the bruises from showing. He blessed the missionaries for geneering his ancestors to survive in the Waste.

He thought of the skid he’d stolen from one of them. It was worth more than all the nano in Chief’s coffers and he didn’t plan on handing it over to him. It had taken two days of digging, but Limp had made sure it was buried deep.


This story is part of the Children of the Waste series. You can check out a longer story set in the same world at http://www.strangehorizons.com/2007/20070115/godtouched-f.shtml

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