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

Jonathan Wood’s story “Notes on the Dissection of an Imaginary Beetle” from Electric Velocipede 15/16 is available online.

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

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.

The Last Word

by David

A pigeon and a cockroach met one day on the wall around Central Park. The pigeon perched on the wall, muttering to itself.

“I hate humans. They’re noisy, they’re everywhere, and they try to kill me whenever they get a chance.”

A cockroach crawled out of a crack in the wall. “I heard your diatribe against humans,” it said, “and I think you’re either hypocritical or stupid. Why, if it wasn’t for humanity, neither of us would be here!”

The pigeon ruffled its feathers and scowled “Speak for yourself, bug,” it replied. “I don’t depend on those nasty things for my well-being.”

“I beg to differ. Look at them out there.” It waved a foreleg at the sidewalk throng. “They pay us no heed, yet I live in their walls, I eat their food, their books, their own cast-off hair. I shelter from the elements and raise my young in their edifices. I even crawl on their sleeping bodies at will. We outnumber them 1,000 to one. It’s OUR city, not theirs.”

“And you! You eat their spilled food, some of them even feed you, (which they never do for me), and you find shelter on their roofs and ledges, protection from predators, and perches everywhere humans live. It’s true they kill a few of us, but as a species we thrive because of them, and so do you. So thank god for humanity, I say.”

The pigeon made no reply, so the cockroach, sensing imminent victory in their debate, opened its mouth to administer a rhetorical coup de grace.

Quick as a flash, the pigeon caught the cockroach in its beak and swallowed it whole.

Moral: There are plenty more where that came from.


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