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

Trent Walters, poetry editor at A&A, has a chapbook, Learning the Ropes, from Morpo Press.

Ken Brady’s latest story, “Walkers of the Deep Blue Sea and Sky” appears in the Exquisite Corpuscle anthology, edited by Jay Lake and Frank Wu.

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

The End

by Luc Reid

I don’t want to put the world away, but you’ve already started. You pour the oceans back in their bucket and snap the lid closed, and by the time I stop sulking and come over to help, you have already taken apart the Himalayas.

None of the tiny people are shrieking or running or shouting doomful messages on the world, because now that we’re done playing, all the little people are still. I brush them into their box in an unruly pile, not bothering to line them up.

I admit it: eventually we grow too old to play with the world–but I wish we could keep playing with it the way we used to, you lining your armies up in the north and me in the south, you making miracles and me moving learned men to spread ideas across the surface like peanut butter, like fire spreading over grass. I remember when you destroyed all my dinosaurs and I wouldn’t talk to you for weeks, and when I tried to melt the world but you got me to stop because of the polar bears. I remember how you used to look at me, the way your face crinkled by your eyes, your hoarse laughter … anyway, I remember.

You remember too: I know you do. Somewhere in your heart you still wish we could play. Somewhere in your heart you forgive me. Or anyway, you should.

When the world is broken down and tucked away, you drift away from me across the scuffed linoleum, your skin pale, your eyes tired, and as you slip out through the open door, you turn and say the last words you’ll ever say to me.

“Turn out the sun, OK?” you say. Then you’re gone.

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