Plugs

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

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

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.

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.

Out the Angels Come

by Luc Reid

This is a sequel to “God Is Not Screwing Around“.

Martin was not in Heaven. He appeared to be in a suburb of Heaven at about one in the morning on a weekday. He wandered down vaguely curving streets through 70’s- and 80’s-era raised ranches that were uniformly dark and silent. Martin felt like he had been wandering for hours. If that was true he was late for his meeting with God.

Another intersection: Pinta Street and Apple Tree Way. He’d been here before …  right? Or was it just someplace like it? No, this was the place: there were those concrete, warehouse-looking buildings he’d seen before with the signs that said things like “Platform 3” and “No Lifters.” He had a choice of either a grimy alleyway by the “No Lifters” sign or going back into the winding suburban maze. The maze was beginning to creep him out, so he decided to take his chances with the alley.

The alley was short, it turned out, and ended in a wooden door that was a little bit ajar. Martin pushed on the door, but couldn’t see anything in the dimness beyond. He went through.

“Oh, wait, hang on!” said a trim little guy with beautiful teeth, stepping out of the gloom and putting a hand on Martin’s chest. “What’re you doing here, now?”

“I’m Martin?” Martin said.

“Is that a question, or are you actually Martin?” said the trim little guy.

“Actually Martin.”

The trim little guy smiled and dropped his hand to a “shake” position. Martin shook it. “Martin, I’m Timmy Gates … they call me Pearly. You here to see God?”

“He said 3:00.”

“Well, time is immaterial here, and you died at 2:57, so you’re all set. OK, people!”

This last thing was said to the gloom, which lit up with golden and misty white light. A host of angels–a large host, as in probably more than a thousand–burst into song. Martin had a hard time tracking the song, but it was so gorgeous his head nearly exploded, and it seemed to be more or less on the theme of “We love you, Martin! Welcome to Heaven!”

After about a week of that–which was less than Martin wanted–the angels wrapped it up and then flapped off without a word, leaving Martin alone with Pearly.

“Is that because God … ?” Martin began.

“Oh, no,” said Pearly. “They do that for everybody. You can’t stop angels from singing, am I right? Come on, let’s go see the Big Guy.”

So they went to see the Big Guy.

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