Plugs

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

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).

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

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

Archive for March, 2010

Has he thoughts within his head?

Friday, March 26th, 2010

This story is part of the Daily Cabal’s third anniversary celebration, a collection of kabbalah-themed stories. (Thanks to Mechaieh for the theme!) The other anniversary stories are Angela’s Mechaiah’s Daughter, Rudi’s The Third Golem, and Luc’s Before Exile.


Micah didn’t have a lot to work with when he decided to make the golem. He’d barricaded himself inside Shawanna’s spare bedroom after the gumdrops broke through the front door of the house. Only after wedging the bedroom door with a wooden desk chair did he notice the stacks upon stacks of jars of creamy Jif. O. M. G. Not since graduate school, when money had run out two weeks before the end of the field season, had peanut butter passed his lips. He shuddered, face twisting.

Gumdrops pattered quietly against the bottom foot or so of the door in fractal frequencies. The faint noises spelled out half-truths and lies in an iterative code. Candy communication or brownian motion?

Water from the sink in the half bath kept him alive, but he could not force down the peanut butter.

Micah had foresworn the practice of magic, but the human body can take only so much. On the third day he opened the first jar and reached inside. When the creature was fully formed, he inscribed the hebrew word for truth on its forehead. The golem stood, inclined its head.

“Okay, look. I want you to open the door, gather up the gumdrops, and put them in the fridge on the first floor.” The monster broke open the door with a quick jerk, passed out into the hall, and set to work.

The fridge was filling, and the few remaining free gumdrops huddled near the door. Micah shuffled closer to the door, but then he noticed that the golem was slowing. Its profile was subtly changing, and it was no longer steady on its feet. Scooping gumdrops into its paw, the golem dropped as many as it disposed of. It somehow conveyed a sense of distress, while continuing to gather the megalomaniacal candies and stuff them into the refrigerator. The golem fell. Micah saw ants, tens of thousands of them, each one carrying away its tiny piece of magic, or arriving unencumbered, seizing a piece of flesh in its jaws, and turning away. The golem continued to writhe silently, crushing a few gumdrops with its fists, but did not rise again. Ants stuck in the warm peanut butter became stepping stones for their fellows.

On the floor, a sticky brown blob, truth-marked, strove mightily to reach the refrigerator door handle.

It was lunch time.

end

Crash

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

During the quiet times I end up in a trance state for a few years or decades at a time. Streaking through space, my thousand eyes open in all directions and drinking in the starlight, I sometimes forget what I am, or that I am at all, that I have a purpose, however long that purpose might take me to fulfill: more millennia, maybe longer. Maybe never … but then, never is a very long time. A lot of things can happen in an eternity.

Sometimes I find myself coasting into a group of other Motes, and our voices shiver through the ether as we talk about the endless stirring and changing of the planets’ surfaces, the taste of a comet’s tail, or especially the near-meetings, when one of the Bright Ones drifts by us in the opposite direction, a mere thousand or two thousand miles away. “If she had just been a little closer …” we say, but there is no way to finish the sentences.

We break these conversations up quickly, after two or three years at most, bending ourselves away from each other with the gravity of passing asteroids or moons. If we were to see one of the Bright Ones together, there is no telling what we would do to each other. The bonds of friendship grow a little weak when the goal of our lives is involved.

There is a light in front of me. I’m being pulled down toward it in my long orbit around the sun, and it’s being pulled up toward me.

At these speeds, there is hardly a moment to think, to reflect, to reconsider. Now I see the light is one of the Bright Ones, and it is clear that she’ll crash into me in moments. I only have time for the thrill of anticipation to rise in me and not for doubts or wondering to fully materialize before all of my thousand eyes are blinded with the light of her around me on every side, and I feel myself dissolving as she begins to dissolve. As we transform, I remember achingly the piercing light of every star I’ve ever seen.

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