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).

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

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

Angela Slatter’s story ‘Frozen’ will appear in the December 09 issue of Doorways Magazine, and ‘The Girl with No Hands’ will appear in the next issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.


by Jon

Two elephants carved from a black wood stand on the counter alongside a card advertising Gonella Baking Company Italian beef dogs and a small stack of flyers for Triple-A.  Each elephant wears on its forehead an index card with the words ‘For Sale – $100’ in faded red ink.  The handwriting is cursive, feminine, neat.

As I cover my brats with ketchup, I notice the elephants seem angry.  Their eyes, inlaid disks of unpolished silvery metal located on the sides of their heads, hold a rage that threatens to ignite them, to send them marching up and down the lunchcounter, setting the flyers ablaze in an advertising apocalypse as they trumpet righteous fire.  But why?  Is it the plight of their great brothers and sister in Africa?  Or is it simply because they have cards taped to their heads?

I remove the cards, peeling back the tape with great care, then prop them up along the elephants.  It doesn’t seem to help.  All I have done is attract their attention.  Are their trunks quivering, their feet readying themselves to stampede?

I throw a dollar beside my half-eaten brats and step outside.  Outside in the August sunshine, a car rolls by, metal hubcaps flashing.  Behind me, I can feel the weight of elephant eyes watching me go.

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