Plugs

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

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

Read Daniel Braum’s story Mystic Tryst at Farrgo’s Wainscot #8.

Kat Beyer’s Cabal story “A Change In Government” has been nominated for a BSFA award for best short fiction.

On That Last Afternoon

by Luc Reid

When Mark got to Julie Munoz’s house on the last day ever, he pressed the doorbell even though he heard shouting inside. Julie opened the door, and past her he saw her health nut sister Marta systematically devouring a box of chocolate doughnuts while It’s a Wonderful Life played on the 48″ flat screen: the man who had been shouting, he realized, was Jimmy Stewart. The cat, which Mark was pretty sure wasn’t supposed to go outside, shot past Julie’s legs and into the street. Julie didn’t stop it.

“Hey Mark,” said Julie. “You want your book back? I didn’t get a chance to read it.”

“No. So listen …”

Julie waited, glanced over her shoulder at Jimmy Stewart, then turned back and watched Mark, still waiting. From behind her, Jimmy Stewart shouted “Isn’t it wonderful? I’m going to jail!”

“Julie, I’m in love with you.”

Julie stiffened, crossing her arms over her chest. “You came out here to tell me that?”

“I know it’s sudden, but with the meteor –”

“You think that gives  you the right to come over here and claim me?”

“Hey, I’m not claiming anything–”

“I know you like me. I knew you liked me the first time you tutored me, when you couldn’t take your eyes off my chest. You’re not exactly subtle. Not even for a guy.”

“I didn’t–” he said, but the rest of the sentence, if he told it truthfully, would have to be … think you saw me doing that.

“Why don’t you go stay with your family or something?” she said. “God, I can’t believe you.”

“Julie, I’m not kidding. I love you. I never felt this way about anyone before!”

“Shut up! Just shut up! I want to go watch Jimmy Stewart. I hate it that I have to live at the end of everything!”

She slammed the door in his face. Mark took a step back, feeling sick. What was wrong with him? Why did he think declaring his love to Julie Munoz would make anything better? His only consolation, he thought as he slunk back to his car, was that he wouldn’t have to face her on Tuesday for tutoring.

That night, the killer comet came within a few thousand miles of Earth. Contrary to every prediction, it shot by into the night, leaving humanity demoralized, dumbfounded, and faced with another glorious day.

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