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.

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.

Alex Dally MacFarlane’s story “The Devonshire Arms” is available online at Clarkesworld.

Read Rudi’s story “Detail from a Painting by Hieronymus Bosch” at Behind the Wainscot.

Brisneyland by Night – Part Three

by Angela Slatter

Ziggi dropped me home. I handed him a wad of the notes Bela had given me. Somehow it didn’t feel like my money. ‘Same time tonight.’

He nodded; drove off. I limped up the path. The jasmine was thick on the front fence, overpoweringly sweet.

‘Verity? Can you get my ball?’ Between the fence palings a small hand appeared.

I picked up the ball. ‘Birthday present?’

‘Uh-huh. But I like yours best.’ I’d given her a book of fairytales – the proper ones, where little children are eaten by wolves with no hope of rescue. Her mother had frowned, but Lizzie ate the stories up.

I dropped the ball over the fence.

‘Thanks, Verity. Can I come over?’

‘Not today, my friend. Maybe on the weekend.’

‘Mmmmm-huh.’

Inside, the hot air almost smothered me, so I quickly opened all the windows. The breeze did its thing and soon the place was bearable. I sat in one of the faded green chairs on the back deck and waited.

I stretched my leg out and rested it on the top of the table. I looked at the jacaranda tree in the backyard and nodded to the extremely fat kookaburra perched on one of its limbs. A movement caught at the edge of my vision.

‘It’s rude not to knock. It’s also rude to keep my house key since we broke up.’

Bela sat. ‘Someone might need to help you.’

‘Your kind of help, I can do without.’

‘And a big hello to you, too.’ He nodded at my leg. ‘Sore? I can fix it, you know.’

I touched his face. ‘Your price is too high.’

‘So, answers?’

‘Plenty of ideas. No answers.’

‘Why am I paying you?’

‘No idea.’ I told him about last night’s tour.

He sighed. ‘There hasn’t been activity like this since your father.’

I closed my eyes.

There’s a market for everything.

My mother was Normal and gone before I knew her. My father was Weyrd. For a long time I didn’t know there was a difference. The everyday things were salt in corners to soak up curses; bake blood into the bread to keep ghosts away; sweep towards your front door, chanting for wealth.

My father. Twenty years ago he was jailed as a kidnapper and killer, but that didn’t even begin to touch the skin of what he was.

Kinderfresser. Child-eater. Butcher to the Weyrd.

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One Response to “Brisneyland by Night – Part Three”

  1. Dan Says:

    May 7th, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Love this series !