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

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

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

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.

Archive for February, 2010

Unanchored (Part Three)

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

For parts one and two of this story please visit my author archives or click here:


Belinda and I walked along Merrick Road. Passing the site of the where the old Cajun man’s shoe repair store had been I felt a pang. I had only been away a day but now I knew I could never touch anything here again.

The ghost of the old Cajun man was sitting on the bus stop bench outside the house with the telephone pole with flower wreath on it making motions like he was feeding the pigeons. The birds poked in the sidewalk cracks looking for anything edible.

“His name is Roland,” Belinda said. “Call to him.”

My pang worsened. I didn’t know where it was I was feeling it. There was no “me” left to have a pang in the gut. I had been shopping in this man’s store for years and I did not know his name. The dentist’s office and chain store sandwich shop, which now stood in the stores place, added an unsightly insult to my injury.

“Call to him,” Belinda repeated. “He needs you. He is too far gone for me to reach him.”

“Roland?” I asked. “Hello. How are you today?”

As he looked up the pigeons took flight in a disturbed flutter.

“You can see me, mon cherie?” he said. “I never knew you knew my name.”

“Ask him to come to you. Take his hand,” Belinda said.

I slowly extended my palm.

“You must be lonely,” I said. “Come.”

He stood, walked over to me, and took my hand.

As his fingers closed around mine Belinda removed her crystal rod from her pocket and waved it in the air. Roland, Belinda and I disappeared and reappeared in the cave. Men and women in trench coats like Belinda surrounded Roland. With crystal rods they directed him, like an errant cattle to a dark alcove of the cave. Roland ambled into the darkness with a strange obedience. There was a flash of light and I knew he was gone. Where I did not know.

“Why did you do that?” I screamed.

“We were only helping,” Belinda said. From the look on her face I knew she was lying. They were only helping themselves and using me, I realized. But why? I only knew it had to stop. It had to stop now.

-End of Part Three-

Electronic Sunlight Through Electronic Birch Leaves

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

The voluptuous, blue woman sat down across the table from me in the restaurant that floated through an endless, Van Gogh-style starry night.  I found myself staring at her eyes, which were as green as sunlight through birch leaves. “I don’t date if you’re not interesting,” she said. “Are you interesting?”

“Do I know you?” I said.

She transformed into a black-haired, skinny girl wearing a dress that made out of dark cobwebs. Still those same eyes. “Your profile autolinked to my profile in the matcher. Don’t you check?”

“Not constantly.”

She transformed again, into a short, fit, heart-faced redhead, maybe 35. Same eyes.

“Some night,” I said. “I’ve only been logged in for 5 minutes, and already I’ve been with three women.”

“Ha, funny,” she said flatly. “I like guys with a sense of humor. Are you into sports?”

“Sure. I play full-contact, extreme checkers.”

“You already did the funny thing. Too much is too much. Maybe you should say something intriguing, to keep me interested.”

“Since when am I desperate for your attention?” I said.

“You know the stats. Men don’t get picked up by women: women get picked up by men. Two different guys have messaged me since I sat down. I’m holding them off, but it takes effort. Give me a reason.” She leaned forward, offering a good view down her sweater, maybe accidentally.

“I’ve got nothing but integrity and gobs and gobs of money.”

“Still just funny–and not very funny. You’re losing me.”

“I think you’re actually a little fascinated.”

She shook her head. “Well, thanks for playing,” she said, getting up. “Maybe the next girl will be into goofy dorks.”

“Don’t make me do it,” I said.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m going to go talk to that guy.” She pointed to a tall, bald man with enormous pecs–actually, he kind of looked like Mr. Clean. “We’re messaging. His name is Raoul, from Brazil. See you.”

She started walking away. I pulled off my VR glasses, reached over, and unplugged Meghan’s set.

“Hey!” she said.

 I kissed her. “You suck at virtual reality,” she murmured against my lips.

 “Yeah, well, good thing that’s not the reality that counts.”

 I tugged her away from the computers and into the bedroom. Somewhere inside the machines, our avatars slumped down where they stood and eventually went to sleep.

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