Plugs

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

Sara Genge’s story “Godtouched” may be found in Strange Horizons.

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.

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

Archive for January, 2010

Bad Dog

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

“I thought you said the dog was dead,” Eddie said.

“I said you didn’t have to worry about the dog anymore,” Pete protested. “You think I’m going to kill a dog?”

Eddie smacked Pete in the face and shook his head in disappointment. “Pete, Pete, listen to me,” Eddie said. “It’s not a dog. It’s my ex-wife, reincarnated into a dog by that damn priest over on the other side. If we don’t take care of her, then this whole interdimensional smuggling operation we’ve worked so hard on … are you listening to me?”

Pete was rubbing his forehead with his hand, looking down. He nodded a couple of times without looking back up.

“… then this whole operation is going to come crashing down around our ears. Is that what you want? You want this to turn into fuckin’ La Guardia?”

Pete shook his head, still not looking up.  Eddie frowned, unconvinced.

“Hey, listen to me! Look up! Eye contact!” Pete looked up. Eddie hit him again. “Dead dog or La Guardia. Your choice. What’s your choice, Pete?”

Pete murmured something.

“Speak up, Pete! I’m not hearing you!”

“Dead dog,” Pete said quietly.

“Say it like you mean it.”

“DEAD DOG!”
 

“That’s more like it.” Eddie put his hand on Pete’s shoulder. Pete flinched, but Eddie just patted him. “You’re a good kid, Pete. You’re an asset to me when you listen. But you’ve got to listen, OK? So now go kill that bitch.”
 

#
 
Pete locked his apartment door behind him and whistled.

“Here, puppy!” he said without conviction. “Come on, girl!”

Nothing. He discarded the grocery bag in which he had a saran-wrapped, styrofoam tray of New York strip and peeled back the plastic. “Come on, puppy! I got something for you.”

The dog padded out into the hallway, all lolling tongue and wagging tail. Pete threw down the steak and watched her launch into it with a long face. After a moment, he took out his gun and aimed, wincing. Then a shot rang out, and Pete dropped to the floor with a red hole in his forehead.

Irene looked up from her steak. “Nice shot.”

“There just better be as much money in this smuggling thing as you claim,” said the shooter from the kitchen doorway.

“Don’t worry about that,” she said. “Now let me finish my steak, and then we can go take care of Eddie.”

The Frog Prince – The Bonus Middle Bit

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Five days later and Tad showed no sign of getting bored or homesick for his pond.  He left a mess in his wake, ate enormous amounts of food, snored like an earthquake, and kept blowing kisses at Felicity when her parents weren’t looking.  The final straw came when she walked into the royal bathroom and found Tad swimming in her bathtub – backstroking to be exact. 

Much to her dismay Felicity discovered that planning to get rid of Tad and actually getting rid of him were two very different things,.  She’d sourced a stout sack and taken to carrying about a croquet mallet. Tad, alas, had a habit of always being around someone like her father, or mother, or the chief minister, or the master of the king’s pigeons.

One afternoon, Bob the stableboy found her sitting in a tree in the apple orchard.

‘Whatchya doing, princess?’

‘Shhhh.  I’m in seclusion,’ she whispered around a mouthful of juicy red apple.

‘Really?  I thought you were in an apple tree.’ Bob grabbed a lower branch and swung himself up.

‘I’m hiding, numbskull.  From that frog.’ She gestured wildly with her half-eaten apple. ‘He’s driving me nuts.  He’s a con man.  Worse – he’s a con frog!’

 ‘You know, Princess Felicity, sometimes a frog is just a frog,’ said Bob.  ‘There’s no prince hiding underneath the green skin.  Genuine frog, that’s it.’

‘You know that, I know that, but my parents…You know, my parents aren’t very bright.’ She shrugged.  ‘And they honestly think I’m going to kiss that amphibian?’

‘Let’s face it, the only one who’s ever truly attracted to a frog is another frog,’ said Bob.  Felicity looked stunned.

‘That’s it!’ She threw her arms around him, planted a big, wet kiss on his cheek and made them both over-balance so they fell out of the tree.  Felicity bounced right back up like a Jack-in-the-box and helped Bob to his feet. ‘Bob, be so good as to get me a carrier pigeon.’

‘Err, Tad ate all the carrier pigeons.’

Ate?

‘He’s a very big frog.  Said they tasted like chicken.’ He shrugged his shoulders, palms to the sky helplessly.

‘Euuuw.  Okay, get me the fastest horse we’ve got – he hasn’t eaten those, has he?’  He shook his head. ‘Good.  You’re going for a ride.’

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