Plugs

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.

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

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

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

Hench Man

by Trent Walters

Boss,

Business has been good.  We shook down three owners yesterday for five grand apiece, and that was a slow day.  We raised last week’s earnings to almost a hundred thou, which doesn’t even include the human-vs.-alien boxing match where I encouraged my fellow alien to throw the match for an even mil.  Before I met you, your henchmen had all but left you out to dry.  Now you’re the biggest Mafioso don in the City.  Word’s out that all the bosses are looking for their own “ratters” as they call us aliens.  Isn’t it high time you paid me what I’m worth?  It’d be awful to bump into Guido again who said he will.

No human can match me in the henchman department.  Each paw–four for the price of two–comes standard with five blades.  Do you remember our battle with Guido’s East-siders where I’d single-handedly taken out 74% of his henchmen before your human boys would even step out of their cowardly cover to take aim?  How about the time at Starbucks where Guido sent a courier to deliver a bomb, which my keen hearing and smelling picked up and my tail sent hurtling out the door in the nick of time?

Not only am I superior in strength and agility, but I get paid in cheese–valued at far less than the pay of my colleagues of similar rank (although they are often more rank than I–where did you find these guys? dumpster diving?).  Moreover, all you ever serve is a wheel of sharp cheddar.  Imagine eating only and always hamburgers at every meal.  Where’s the Gouda, the Swiss, the Limburger, and Blue?  And why only one wheel of cheese per meal?  Sure, I’ll double in size, but I’m often famished after a hard day of torturing shop owners, and enhancing to my size should only enhance to your stature as the Mafioso to be reckoned with.

Finally, you haven’t a henchman whom you can trust more than me.  All the henchmen you have now had once abandoned you for Guido. They slumped back with their tails between their legs when you covered more territory than he.  Besides, I have no intention of taking over your business, at this time.  At least, I’d wait until you were dead before taking over.

So how about that raise?  Hold on a sec.  Guido’s on call waiting.  The heady scent of future blue cheese wafts through the air.

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