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

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

Jonathan Wood’s story “Notes on the Dissection of an Imaginary Beetle” from Electric Velocipede 15/16 is available online.

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

Going Home

by Kat Beyer

We took Tamara and Niall to their first punk show the other day. We ran into Andy Peace-Earring-Andy, and he reminded me about the spaceship. I’d actually forgotten.

Palo Alto 1987: Converse All-Stars, dyed hair, dreaming of moving to London; high school without end, which didn’t matter since we were all going to die in a nuclear war. We doodled on our AIDS notes. A cop warned us about a drug called crack.

Bob the Drunk said he saw a UFO come down behind Lytton Plaza. He said you could see burn marks from their engines, up on the roof of the Burger King.

Marcus Not-My-Boyfriend climbed up there, helping me up the hard part. We lit candles and pretended to call them back.

We thought the burn marks were spray paint; it was hard to tell in the dark.

The next night I missed the bus, so I had to go back downtown to see if Andy Peace-Earring-Andy was still there, because he gave me rides hoping Marcus wasn’t my boyfriend. Anyway I didn’t want to get in trouble with my parents for missing curfew and waking them up for a ride.

No Andy. I sat down on one of the benches for a minute, trying not to cry.

That’s when the light came, settling over me. Weirdly, for a minute, I thought I was in the diner across the street: the same warm light and smell of frying oil.

I felt more disoriented than scared, first. Then I thought, it’s like high school. I’m totally trapped, there’s nothing I can do—that scared me. The light got eye-hurtingly bright. A voice spoke. Except it made no sound, just appeared in my thoughts.

Do you.



“Uh, yeah,” I ventured.


I didn’t know what they meant, so I pictured our house where my mom still lives, an olive green Eichler with two birch trees in front and a square pond with water lilies that Dad put in to make her happy (it worked, actually).

Then I was home. I even made it into bed without them hearing me.

That’s all.

The thing is, it makes a difference: in a world where Tamara and Niall still face nukes and weird diseases and new drugs, I know they’re out there, quietly helping out in little dorky ways. Even if nobody believes me except Marcus Not-My-Husband.

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