Plugs

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

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

David Kopaska-Merkel’s book of humorous noir fiction based on nursery rhymes, Nursery Rhyme Noir 978-09821068-3-9, is sold at the Genre Mall. Other new books include The zSimian Transcript (Cyberwizard Productions) and Brushfires (Sams Dot Publishing).

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

Archive for the ‘Angela Slatter’ Category

The Frog Prince – The End Bit

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Tad was feasting on the last of the cold roasted carrier pigeon. Felicity did her best not to gag. He let out a great froggy burp and leaned against the padded chair with a satisfied air. The princess took a deep breath.

‘Tad, we need to talk.’ ‘Oh, no. You’re froggist, I knew it,’ he sighed.

‘Tad, you’re a frog. A genuine, dyed-in-the-wool-not-gonna-be-anything-else frog, aren’t you?’ She tapped a finger on the table.

‘I might…you never know with these things, really…’ he said lamely.

‘Why did you pretend?’ she demanded. ‘Well, guys be they men, frogs, or dogs, always want what they can’t have.’ He thought for a moment, then shrugged. ‘But I’ve got to tell you, I’m really not attracted to you. You’re not nearly green enough and your legs are really awfully long and straight. It’s more of a trophy thing.’

Great, Felicity thought, dissed by someone who swim in the toilet. ‘Well, I’ve got good news for you, Tad. I have a cousin.’

‘Aw, Felicity, you’re a good stick but I really don’t want another human girlfriend. They’re pretty high maintenance.’

By now Felicity was ready to throw Tad against a wall just to see if he would stick, but she gritted her teeth. She could hear footsteps running along the corridor. The doors to the dining room opened and Bob stumbled in. He smiled broadly.

He held a pink silk cushion and on it sat the greenest of girl frogs, with bendy legs, large eyes, a little purple cape and a teeny-tiny tiara. She batted her lashes at Tad.

‘Tad, this is my cousin Gwyneth. I think I mentioned my great-great-aunt Bernadette of Grenouille-sur-le-Tapis? This is her great-great-granddaughter, a greenblood through and through. I think you’ll find you’ve got a lot in common.’

The look on his face was one of pure rapture; Tad was a real gone frog.

A day later, the pre-nup had been drawn up and Gwyneth, with Tad in-tow, headed back to her kingdom. The last thing Felicity heard as the coach pulled away was Tad’s voice, low and romantic, asking ‘Do you have any carrier pigeons in your castle?’

‘Euuuw,’ said Felicity and Bob in unison.

The very next day, Felicity ordered the pond be drained and filled in. All the foliage was uprooted and burned. The whole area was turned into a soccer field.

The Frog Prince – The Bonus Middle Bit

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Five days later and Tad showed no sign of getting bored or homesick for his pond.  He left a mess in his wake, ate enormous amounts of food, snored like an earthquake, and kept blowing kisses at Felicity when her parents weren’t looking.  The final straw came when she walked into the royal bathroom and found Tad swimming in her bathtub – backstroking to be exact. 

Much to her dismay Felicity discovered that planning to get rid of Tad and actually getting rid of him were two very different things,.  She’d sourced a stout sack and taken to carrying about a croquet mallet. Tad, alas, had a habit of always being around someone like her father, or mother, or the chief minister, or the master of the king’s pigeons.

One afternoon, Bob the stableboy found her sitting in a tree in the apple orchard.

‘Whatchya doing, princess?’

‘Shhhh.  I’m in seclusion,’ she whispered around a mouthful of juicy red apple.

‘Really?  I thought you were in an apple tree.’ Bob grabbed a lower branch and swung himself up.

‘I’m hiding, numbskull.  From that frog.’ She gestured wildly with her half-eaten apple. ‘He’s driving me nuts.  He’s a con man.  Worse – he’s a con frog!’

 ‘You know, Princess Felicity, sometimes a frog is just a frog,’ said Bob.  ‘There’s no prince hiding underneath the green skin.  Genuine frog, that’s it.’

‘You know that, I know that, but my parents…You know, my parents aren’t very bright.’ She shrugged.  ‘And they honestly think I’m going to kiss that amphibian?’

‘Let’s face it, the only one who’s ever truly attracted to a frog is another frog,’ said Bob.  Felicity looked stunned.

‘That’s it!’ She threw her arms around him, planted a big, wet kiss on his cheek and made them both over-balance so they fell out of the tree.  Felicity bounced right back up like a Jack-in-the-box and helped Bob to his feet. ‘Bob, be so good as to get me a carrier pigeon.’

‘Err, Tad ate all the carrier pigeons.’

Ate?

‘He’s a very big frog.  Said they tasted like chicken.’ He shrugged his shoulders, palms to the sky helplessly.

‘Euuuw.  Okay, get me the fastest horse we’ve got – he hasn’t eaten those, has he?’  He shook his head. ‘Good.  You’re going for a ride.’

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