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

Read Rudi’s story “Detail from a Painting by Hieronymus Bosch” at Behind the Wainscot.

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

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).

A Remarkable Reaction

by David

Making Divinity
The Cabbage-Patch God
The Dolls’ Crusade
A Natural Attraction
*A Remarkable Reaction

Since she was a small child, Kayla had created gods. In fact, anything she worshipped became a God (if it wasn’t already). For example, for three weeks when Kayla was 5 years old a newly raised Cabbage-Patch God had commanded the fealty of all other denizens of the toy shelves. Kayla had since learned to control her adoration, because it quickly became inconvenient to be trailed by a cloud of transitory deities. As a freshman in high school, Kayla seemed cool, sophisticated, maybe a little stuck up. Supernatural powers will do that to a young girl, no matter how sensible she is.

For a while, Kayla worried that any expression of animosity on her part might create demons, or at the very least destroy the people who angered her. It did not take long for her to realize she could hate anyone she liked: nothing would happen. This was a liberating discovery for a teenager. Life is good when you’re young, and imbued with a power most cannot even dream of. Even if you don’t use it. However, there comes a time in the life of every young person when he or she meets someone whose existence becomes as important as life itself.

The marriage of perfect form with flawless function that was Bradley Jones hit Kayla like a ton of bricks. It would be useless to describe his warm green eyes, his exquisite shell-like ears, or his curly auburn locks that Kayla longed to comb with her fingers. His broad shoulders, flat and creamy stomach, his straight and symmetrical nose; these too can be named, but to no purpose. We cannot truly appreciate the effect Bradly had on Kayla unless we remember the heat that caused our hands to tremble on that day long ago when we glanced at someone and realized for the first time that Beauty had come to earth.

“Bradley,” Kayla murmured as he leaned casually against the wall. Her heard pounded so hard dust particles danced with each pulse.

He raised an eyebrow and turned away.

Kayla would do anything for Bradley. Anything. But lest you fear that she created a monster with the power of a god and the self-control of a 17-year-old boy, let me allay your fears. Kayla loved Bradley with all her heart. She worshipped the very ground he walked on.

The end

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