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.

Ken Brady’s latest story, “Walkers of the Deep Blue Sea and Sky” appears in the Exquisite Corpuscle anthology, edited by Jay Lake and Frank Wu.

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

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).

The Frog Prince – The Bonus Middle Bit

by Angela Slatter

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.’


‘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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One Response to “The Frog Prince – The Bonus Middle Bit”

  1. Daniel Says:

    January 26th, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Beware of backstroking con frogs, yes beware !