Plugs

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

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.

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

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

Brisneyland by Night – Part Four

by Angela Slatter

Most folk, Normal or Weyrd, are law-abiding. But there’s a market for everything: some tables demand the tenderest of flesh. It was a particular taste indulged in by the very few, a leftover from the past. Someone had to source and butcher that flesh.

Kinderfresser. All those fairytales and it turns out my father was the monster.

He got sloppy and didn’t take the hunt far enough from home. Grigor lasted precisely how long you think a child killer would in prison. The people he’d been supplying just faded into the background without trace, and the flow of child disappearances seemed to stop for a long, long time – at least, those connected to Brisneyland’s Weyrd.

Now, though, something was changing and there was a new product out there. Not child flesh, but something almost as bad. Wine made from children’s tears.

‘How many kids now?’ I asked.

‘About forty in the last few months.’

They were being sucked dry of all the tears they might ever cry, taking their ability to feel joy, compassion, pain, their ability to care, and ultimately their lives. Those tears were bottled and offered for sale very quietly by someone who disappeared too easily. All we had were stories from Weyrd who’d heard it from a friend of a friend – and a lot of missing children.

‘I’ll seek what I can find about that house,’ said Bella.

‘Houses generally don’t get registered under “super villain”.’

I was exhausted. I’d been awake for a long time.

‘Bela, I have to sleep. I’ve got nothing left.’

He nodded and rose, then he pushed me towards my bedroom. I lay down and felt him pulling my shoes off. There was a gentle kiss in the middle of my forehead and I thought I heard the front door snick shut, but wasn’t sure.

The knocking woke me. I felt sick and groggy. Swearing about Ziggi and drivers in general, I stumbled to the door.
There was a distinct lack of Ziggi. Lizzie’s mother stood there, pale and shaky against the late afternoon.

‘Mel. What?’ I managed. She looked at me with desperate hope and I just knew I was going to disappoint her.

‘Is Lizzie here? She said she was coming over to read with you.’

Little bugger.

Her voice rose, seeing my blank expression. ‘Is Lizzie here?!’

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