Plugs

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.

Edd Vick’s latest story, “The Corsair and the Lady” may be found in Talebones #37.

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

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).

Unmasked

by Jonathan Wood

“You’re paranoid,” said Yellow Fever, slamming the muggers head into the wall. Bone and brick caved.

Centurion shrugged, shattered another man’s kneecaps. “The problem is endemic to the phenomenon, Yellow,” he said. “It’s waiting to happen. One day this anonymity stuff is going bite us on the ass.”

#

Trevor Milbank: mild mannered bank worker by day. Mild mannered husband by night. Less of an everyman, more of a nobody.

#

“I’m serious,” Centurion said as they took to the air. “I don’t know half the guys in the League from Adam. Wearing a mask and beating on people is not what normal people do.”

“What about me?” Yellow Fever asked.

“Don’t think I haven’t worried about you.”

#

Janice Milbank. Mild mannered wife of Trevor by day. Dr. Necrosis by night. He hadn’t had a clue. But there was a lab and a zombie army and everything. And he would have been willing to accept that. Except he didn’t find out until after a superhero ripped out the more important parts of her spine.

#

Centurion shrugged as they landed at the League’s hollowed-out volcano. “I just want to be more than a support group for the superpowered and unhinged.”

#

Trevor was angry of course. But he was a nobody. So in the end he just decided to dismantle Janice’s lab. It was for the best. But then there was the accident. And then…

#

“What would you have the superpowered do then?” asked Yellow Fever, as they pushed into the bustling main common room. “Don’t they have a responsibility to help?”

“They should be helped,” Centurion said. “Professionally”

Yellow Fever wrinkled his nose. “So what? If someone doesn’t measure up you’ll pull out bits of their spine?”

Centurion furrowed his brow. “I did that once. A zombie army, man. That was justified.”

“So’s this.” And mild mannered Trevor Milbank by day, Yellow Fever by night, took of his mask, and there were tears in his eyes. Yellow tears, that scored acid streaks down his cheeks. His eyes glowed yellow. And his mouth opened and screamed yellow. He erupted—an explosion that stripped skin from muscle, tore muscle from bone, and not for one moment allowed Centurion to appreciate quite how right he was.

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