Plugs

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

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.

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

Jason Erik Lundberg‘s fiction is forthcoming from Subterranean Magazine and Polyphony 7.

Lauren, Queen of the Zombies

by Edd

1.

Lauren has two children, Brian and Parker, the elder named after her late husband. When he was young both of his parents and his brother would laugh when Parker would lurch around the house, hands stretched out in front, intoning, “Brians! Must… have… Brians!”

Now it’s not so funny. But, on the bright side, at least Brian Senior is still upright, still staggering about. Still King.

2.

Don’t ask how Lauren became Queen of the Zombies. She’ll just shrug and say that it’s her burden. Besides, zombies rarely pay attention to authority, or much of anything beyond their gravitation toward the nearest grey matter. The obligations are only as heavy as she wants them to be.

Lauren tries to be a good Queen. She fills notebooks with laws for her subjects, she writes government leaders asking to trade ambassadors. She argues tirelessly with governors. “If Lesotho can be a separate country surrounded by South Africa,” she says, “we deserve an independent kingdom inside Tennessee or Mississippi.”

She has yet to convince any official to welcome an autonomous nation of ravenous monsters.

3.

She is ever so slightly worried about her position. Not that any of her subjects would seek succession. No, they’re simply not interested. Assassination, though, seems possible, and zombies have not taken to heart the concept of ‘bodyguard’.

So far, nobody has taken any shots at her, although quite a few of her people have been dispatched under mysterious circumstances. By fire. By shotgun blasts to the head. By having ponderous weights dropped on them. All her appeals to law enforcement have fallen on deaf ears.

Or not so much deaf as vengeful.

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