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.

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

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

Where the Light Bulbs Go

by Luc Reid

Laura stood on a kitchen chair and shined the little red flashlight at the top closet shelf, but the only thing she saw was the yellowed contact paper: no light bulbs.

“Angie!” she shouted, stepping down. Angie poked her head in from the home office, formerly a pantry.

“Hmm?”

Laura walked over and put both her hands on Angie’s cheeks. “Sweetie, did we or didn’t we talk about the light bulbs?”

“Light bulbs … ?”

“About if one of us used the last one, we would write it on the grocery list.”

“Oh that! Sure we did. Do I get to call you anal again?”

“No, you do not. Because one of us–not me–used the last light bulb and didn’t write it on the list.”

Angie took both of Laura’s hands in hers, kissed her, then turned back to her computer. “Not guilty, sorry.”

“It wasn’t me,” Laura said. “I replaced a bulb three days ago, and there were still two left.”

“Still not me.”

“You know you don’t always pay attention to these things–and this is the third time we’ve been out since Christmas!”

“Maybe your Mom cursed the closet. She said she was a witch.”

“My mother is not a witch, she’s mentally ill. Remember when we caught her with that mouse?”

“Relax … your blood pressure! Now, please let me work.”

Laura stood for a moment in stupefaction, then shoved the kitchen chair back into place and shut the closet door with unnecessary force. She left the kitchen with her arms crossed over her chest.

“Blood pressure!” Angie sang out.

Behind the closet door, past the top shelf, through a gap in the ceiling that led to a crawlspace, in a long gallery only a foot high, a mouse sighed in relief. She nosed her two new prizes into place, wrapped bare wire around each of their bases, then connected the terminals. Finally she went back and reconnected a bit of insulated wire. The crawlspace lit up with dozens of light bulbs: Christmas tree bulbs, floods, standard lamp bulbs, frosted globes, and more. Many were masked with bits of colored paper and fabric over toothpick frames, so the mouse was surrounded with glowing colors, varied and warm and mixing subtly where they overlapped. The mouse sighed and lay down to sleep in her fairyland, soothed by the faint tapping of the human woman’s fingers on her computer keyboard below.

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