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.

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

Read Rudi’s story “Detail from a Painting by Hieronymus Bosch” at Behind the Wainscot.

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).


by David

I keep a diary in my head.

I got a letter from my mother today. It’s sans cerif, so it’s either lower-case “l” or capital “I”. I think it is an l. Mom writes every week. Soon I’ll be able to make a whole sentence. Alas, I’m really low on punctuation, and have not a single period, so I can produce nothing declarative. Still, there are many things I want to know, so I think I’ll ask a question.

Today I got a space. Ha ha, that’s what I say when I really got nothing. Always look on the bright side, Dad said. I’m envious. He could afford semicolons! How many can actually use a semicolon? Yet he’ll give me nothing, nothing at all. I have to “make my own way.”

I took a walk in the park. I saw that girl! Yes, the one I’ve mentioned. She is harmonious of form, she walks in grace, and her smile would melt the hardest stone. She sat on a bench by the duck pond, and I walked as slowly as I dared. I was in heaven! To cap off a perfect day, by the path, half-hidden by dead leaves, I found a period. Now all I lack is “I v ou”. I can trade my question mark for at least one of those, I’m sure.

Today: disaster! I got home early, hoping for something from my mother. The box was empty. Upstairs, my apartment door was unlatched. I pushed it open, slipped inside. Nothing in the front room seemed disturbed, but when I got to my bedroom I found the floor awash with papers, clothing, and all the rest of my stuff. The mattress was askew and the letters and punctuation were missing. Nothing else had been taken.

I spent so long saving. If I start anew it will take forever! Even if I don’t get robbed again.

I went back to the park, sat on my favorite bench. (The one by the duck pond.) I sat, staring at nothing. When someone sat beside me I was taken by surprise. It was she, staring at me with her dark eyes and bewitching brows. She held out her hand. On it: a question mark.

I nodded. It didn’t matter that I had no words.

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2 Responses to “Declaration”

  1. Peg Duthie Says:

    December 14th, 2009 at 5:54 am

    Cute! and huzzah for the happy ending. 🙂

  2. David Says:

    December 14th, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    I do like to read happy endings, even though I commonly don’t find my way to them when I write.