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.

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.

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

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).

The Janus Trick: Door #5875

by Jason Fischer

Jason says: When I agreed to do this, I questioned my source on his preference for referring to himself in the second-person. He’s still not been able to explain the Janus Trick, not without coming across as a lunatic. His constant use of ‘you’ instead of ‘I’ is frustrating at best. I’m finding it incredibly hard not to write off my source as a time-waster, but if he’s telling the truth…

(from my interview notes)

“When he stole the Janus Trick and stepped through that first Significant Door, he became a not-person, less than a hitcher or a watcher. There was no I, no We, just the eyes of the other, a You.”

Door #5875

This door has bars, and there is no chance to make sure you enter with the right foot. You are pushed in, none too gently.

You’re absolutely off your face, drunk to the point of abuse. Even with the Trick it takes a moment to remember. There’s blood all over your shirt front, and your two-thousand dollar suit is ripped and soaked in beer.

Colin. Anna’s new man. A liberal amount of dutch courage, and a flurry of violence that ends in a night in the lock-up.

Now, as then, you press up against the door. Hollering at the guards, demanding a phone call. There’s still a smudge of ink on your fingers from being finger-printed at the charge counter. That is when they are meant to offer you a phone-call, but you remember (from reading the report later) that you lost bladder control at this point. Because the cleaning staff have left for the day, it’s up to the cops to clean it up. They’ve thrown you into the drunk tank.

You get your phone call, when you finally convince them that you’re a lawyer (now as before, but not for much longer). This time around, instead of phoning your furious father, you call Pamela.

‘Pammy, it’s me,’ you slur into the phone. ‘Please, don’t catch the 7:57.’

You plead with her, with all the earnest of a drunk. The right words fail you. She tells you never to call again and slams the phone down.

Looks like tomorrow will still be the worst day of your life.

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