Plugs

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

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

Edd Vick’s latest story, “The Corsair and the Lady” may be found in Talebones #37.

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.

Heaven Is a Place where Nothing Ever Happens

by Trent Walters

The bar was packed. Everyone was there. The band on the carousel dais played my favorite Talking Heads song, the name of which escapes me (it goes bop-bop, bopbopbop–but then a lot of songs here do). And me, I was sandwiched between my two favorite people, Julius and Endiku–arms slung over shoulders, beer from mugs sloshed on sandals, bodies swayed, voices bellowed at the top of our lungs yet somehow still in tune. To be perfectly honest, my two favorite people are usually whomever I’m sandwiched between. Also, to be perfectly honest, my favorite song is usually whatever’s playing. The ambrosia, however delectable, tasted flat. It needed more hops. I’d been hesitant to complain to the management.

During the bridge, the lyrics of which we never seem to know though Endiku kept singing off-key anyway (which the walls of heaven somehow resonate into a kind of harmony), Homer dashed to my side. “Did you hear?” Before I could shake my head, Homer had babbled on breathlessly, “Sure-footed Mercury said that knobby-kneed Pandora entered heaven with a Bowie knife, then vanished after he spoke to her.”

Julius and I guffawed. Long-winded Homer was forever making up stories. “Yeah, right,” I managed after catching my breath. With the back of my hand, I wiped away tears of laughter.

Endiku, off in his own world, catching sight of my tears, wrapped both arms around me. “Everything’s fine now, David: We’re in heaven.”

“You guys, burn me up.” Short-tempered Homer stormed off to find a more appreciative audience.

Time is difficult to measure in a place like this, but it couldn’t have been long before our corporeal forms began to rise, pirouette, and swirl about the hall like–well–Lincoln Logs in a toilet, getting faster and faster until our bodies slammed against the walls and tapestries that dematerialized as soon as we struck, our bones snapping on impact.

And then I was ordering another ambrosia, arms slung over the shoulders of my two favorite people. “Now be honest with me, fellas,” I asked the guys concentrating hard on not holding my sibilance for too long. “What’s the last interesting thing that’s happened up here?”

Endiku gave me a funny look. “You think nothing interesting happens because you already know so much.”
“Damn straight.”

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