Plugs

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.

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

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.

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

King Karl

by David

Karl pulled one drawer clean out. Bolts, a small screwdriver, wing nuts that should have been in the wing nut drawer, a ball bearing, and some tacks left over from paneling the den hit the floor. The ball bearing rolled under Madge’s Pinto. Something flashed from the empty slot where the drawer had been.

Karl set the drawer on the floor and bent down, hands on thighs, to peer into the hole. He moved a little to one side and again saw a flash. Could it be a broken piece of mirror? He reached in. His hand touched a cold smooth plane. Aha, he thought: it’s a mirror or piece of glass. Before he even finished the thought, he began to feel quite peculiar. His skin buzzed like the time he stuck his finger in the electrical outlet, then he was falling fast and headfirst, but after a moment of panic (during which he shut his eyes) he seemed to be at rest, on his feet, and unharmed. He opened his eyes.

Something stood or crouched in front of him. Its face reminded him of a fish, although the texture of its skin said lobster, and tufts of tendrils around its mouth called to mind a sea anemone. The body gave a similarly chimeric impression; it had elements of arthropod, mammal, and reptile, although in places the shapes and textures were more reminiscent of the inorganic. Karl laughed weakly.

“This sculpture is the most far out I’ve ever seen!” he said, looking around for the artist.

The thing spoke, its voice a bubbling hiss. Karl screamed and turned to run, only to discover another of the creatures right behind him. It seized his arms and, after a while, he stopped screaming.

“You are most honored,” it burbled. “You are the human chosen to rule the earthly portion of the coming Eternal Empire. All others of your ilk will serve as your abject slaves. Rejoice!”

“Rule? Me? Empire?” Patiently it was explained again. And again. It finally sank in. He wiped drool off his chin. Then he pumped his fist in the air.

“Yes! Karl Johnson will rule the WOOOORLD!!”

“Excuse me, Karl Johnson? Karl Johnson?” The thing let go of his arms.

“That’s my name, don’t wear it out. Let’s see…Emperor Karl Johnson? No. Potentate Karl … what?”

“Sorry, we were looking for Carl Sandstroem.”

“Oh, uh, his house is the white one on the corner.”

end

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2 Responses to “King Karl”

  1. David E Martin Says:

    October 22nd, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Saw a similar tale the other week on an ooooooooooooold TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE. In that one, a couple of Tibetan emissaries tell a couple their spoiled jerk of a son is the reincarnation of their most revered leader and they are here to prepare him for his new life. The kid gets really abusive as he discovers how much he can get away with. But when the parebnts make some comment abput the sudden changes occuring to their little home address, the emissaries realize they are on the wrong side of town, take back thei gifts, and scram.

    But hey, there are only so many possible plots so don’t worry about it.

  2. David Says:

    October 22nd, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Never saw that. Sounds like I missed a good one.