Plugs

Jonathan Wood’s story “Notes on the Dissection of an Imaginary Beetle” from Electric Velocipede 15/16 is available online.

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.

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).

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

Brisneyland by Night – Part Six

by Angela Slatter

I broke a panel of glass in the front door and let myself in. Ziggi, on lookout duty in the cab, studiously ignored my break and enter.

I crept along the long hallway to the kitchen. A door in the pantry floor was open. I guess when you’ve got a glamour around your house and you live in Ascot you think you’re bulletproof.

The stairway leading down was brightly lit. At the bottom: a large room, walls painted white. In the back corner, a round vat with a screw-down lid and pipes running into and out of it like a still. Behind that ran rows and rows of wine racks, stretching back into the shadows. The basement was much larger than the house above.

In the middle of it all a cold metal table, with Lizzie lying on it and next to the table stood a woman.
She looked like an Ascot matron. Maybe in her sixties, but her true age was concealed by a combination of cosmetics, a little glamour and a lot of Botox. She was short, a little thick around the waist, wearing an impeccable pale blue dress and elegant ash-blonde hair. Her knuckle-duster rings were probably worth more than my house.

‘Verity?’

I nodded.

She smiled. ‘You’re the reason she’s here, you know. I followed your scent – my, what a vintage you would have made when you were young! What wouldn’t I have done to take the tears from you? The wine tastes so much sweeter when it’s born of sorrow.’

‘You’re not eating them?’

‘No. If you take their tears you can’t use the meat. It’s too dry, tough. Really, it’s either wine or veal.’ She smiled.

‘Lizzie,’ I said. She didn’t stir. ‘Lizzie!’

‘She can’t hear you, dear. It’s a little sleeping spell until they go in the press. You don’t want panic; that sours things; but fear brings out the tears.’

‘Wake her,’ I said. ‘Wake her up and give her to me and we walk out of here. I tell no one about you.’

‘I knew your father – wonderful butcher. But rash, sloppy in his hunting.’

‘Bela Tepes knows I’m here,’ I lied. ‘You mess with me, you mess with him. You mess with him, you mess with the Weyrd Council.’

‘Two of my best customers are on the board, lovie,’ she said confidentially.

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