Plugs

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

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

Read Daniel Braum’s story Mystic Tryst at Farrgo’s Wainscot #8.

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.

Apocalypses

by Jen Larsen

If he weren’t already dead— head torn off of his neck with a thick, tearing sound, and I swear I can still taste the blood that fountained up and spattered my face—I’d kill him all over again. John was the one who was going to live through the robot apocalypse—he had been making sure of it for years. Oh, he didn’t know it would be robots, not for sure. He had been prepared for it to be any of a number of apocalypses. It could have been the classic zombies or cold war fallout; the earth could have been struck by an asteroid, the sun could have winked out, a wolf could have eaten the moon. He was prepared for any eventuality: canned food, a wall of weapons. Survival guides, handbooks, medical kits, medical-grade pharmaceuticals, and extra can openers. He had trained himself to make knots, suture a wound, and had a pretty good idea of how to restructure and rebuild a society that had been decimated by a virus so virulent you’d think it had a mind of his own.

The point is—he was ready. He knew everything. And he told me, a throb in his voice and his hand on his heart, that he’d protect me. I told him, I don’t want to live through the apocalypse. I told him, just let me fall into the crack that splits the earth in two, and don’t worry about fishing me out. Just figure out how to stick the two sides of the whole back together, and get on with things.

You’ll think differently when it happens, he said.

Not likely, I said. I’m afraid to say I snorted, in a derisive way. I turned the page in the June 25th issue of The New Yorker.

I’ll keep you alive no matter what, he said.

Don’t bother, I said airily.

He should have listened to me. I mean, you know it’s my fault he died. Lunging to shove me out of the way of the pincer-clawed, traction-treaded harvester, he took the blow that was meant for me. I was so tired of running, and I didn’t think he had seen me stop. I didn’t think he had seen me turn and throw my hands up and say Fine! Okay! You win! He hadn’t believed I really meant it. Worse, I hadn’t believed he had meant it, either.

If he weren’t already dead— head torn off of his neck with a thick, tearing sound, and I swear I can still taste the blood that fountained up and spattered my face—I’d kill him all over again. John was the one who was going to live through the robot apocalypse—he had been making sure of it for years. Oh, he didn’t know it would be robots, not for sure. He had been prepared for it to be any of a number of apocalypses. It could have been the classic zombies or cold war fallout; the earth could have been struck by an asteroid, the sun could have winked out, a wolf could have eaten the moon. He was prepared for any eventuality: canned food, a wall of weapons. Survival guides, handbooks, medical kits, medical-grade pharmaceuticals, and extra can openers. He had trained himself to make knots, suture a wound, and had a pretty good idea of how to restructure and rebuild a society that had been decimated by a virus so virulent you’d think it had a mind of his own.

The point is—he was ready. He knew everything. And he told me, a throb in his voice and his hand on his heart, that he’d protect me. I told him, I don’t want to live through the apocalypse. I told him, just let me fall into the crack that splits the earth in two, and don’t worry about fishing me out. Just figure out how to stick the two sides of the whole back together, and get on with things.

You’ll think differently when it happens, he said.

Not likely, I said. I’m afraid to say I snorted, in a derisive way. I turned the page in the June 25th issue of The New Yorker.

I’ll keep you alive no matter what, he said.

Don’t bother, I said airily.

He should have listened to me. I mean, you know it’s my fault he died. Lunging to shove me out of the way of the pincer-clawed, traction-treaded harvester, he took the blow that was meant for me. I was so tired of running, and I didn’t think he had seen me stop. I didn’t think he had seen me turn and throw my hands up and say Fine! Okay! You win! He hadn’t believed I really meant it. Worse, I hadn’t believed he had meant it, either.

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