Plugs

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

Luc Reid writes about the psychology of habits at The Willpower Engine. His new eBook is Bam! 172 Hellaciously Quick Stories.

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

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

On Reincarnation in Turkeys

by Luc Reid

The Daily Cabal is coming to an end, and we’re marking the occasion with two stories a day all this week. Luc is starting us off with the story below, and David’s following right after.

“OK, I respect that,” I said to the other turkey, “but if we’re going to have a conversation, I need to give you some kind of name. Why don’t I call you Lashonda?”

“Gobble,” said Lashonda.

A chubby guy in rubber gloves and a rubber apron snatched me up by the feet and hung me upside down.

“Hi!” I said in Turkey, but of course he didn’t understand.

A second later he hung Lashonda up next to me, and we swung gently from side to side as the track we were hanging from carried us into the gloom.

“This feels strangely peaceful,” I said. “Who would’ve imagined? Hanging upside down … it’s so relaxing. It’s a little like grooming. I had an incarnation as a spider monkey once, and we were always grooming each other. Most relaxing thing in the world.”

Up ahead, there was a burst of gobbling that was abruptly cut short. The machine we were swinging from made a gentle creak-creak sound.

“Gobble gobble,” said Lashonda.

“You know, it’s funny you should mention that,” I said. “That’s what I’ve been wondering about: why a turkey in the first place? I mean, we’re raised butt-to-wattle in a pen, fed terrible food, and eventually carted off to be slaughtered. What’s the point in that kind of existence? I’m worried that if I don’t learn anything from this life, I’ll just have to do it all over again.”

We came around a bend, and I saw that the line dipped, lowering turkey heads into a silvery machine. There was an electrical noise somewhere.

“It’s not the same as being a wild creature or a human or whatever,” I said. “As those you can make choices. But what can you possibly learn if you don’t get to make any actual choices?”

Lashonda was silent. I wondered if she was scared.

“I’m probably overthinking it,” I said. “Right now, I just feel grateful, you know? Grateful to be hanging upside down, grateful to have a friend like you right when I need one … I don’t think I’ve ever told you, Lashonda, in the few minutes we’ve known each other, how much I appreciate your company and your level-headed attitude.”

The line began to descend, and all of a sudden the silvery machine was right in front of me.

“Have a nice life, Lashonda,” I said. Then something sparked.

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