Plugs

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

Alex Dally MacFarlane’s story “The Devonshire Arms” is available online at Clarkesworld.

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

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

Archive for the ‘Jeremiah Tolbert’ Category

We Can Forget It For You

Friday, December 21st, 2007

My father came home from the war with a hole in his head, but not the kind that you can see. After his four years of touring, he opted for a wipe. There’s a big blank space where memories of the war should be.

“I knew guys who didn’t take a wipe. Half of them killed themselves. The rest are screwed up in ways you can’t imagine. Me, I can sleep at night. I sleep just fine,” he said often. He talked about his wipe every couple of days like that. I wasn’t sure how much of it was true, because of the crying.

One night, I heard a sound coming from his room. It sounded like crying, sobbing. I had never heard an adult make that sound. I tried to open the door, but it was locked as always. I asked my father about it at breakfast. He stared at me and then said quietly that he didn’t remember anything about it. Then he told me to get ready for school.

I think it was the crying that drove Mom away.

I worry that the hole in his head is growing. He’s already forgotten Mom. She writes me sometimes, but he never asks about her. She’s fallen into the hole, just like those four years.

Some day, will I fall into the hole too?

Paranormal Kansas: The Cretaceous Ghosts

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

Sixty-five million years ago, Kansas was at the bottom of a vast sea known as the Western Interior Seaway, which stretched north to south across the entire northern continent. It was a shallow sea, at most little more than two thousand feet deep. But this sea was filled with dangerous beasts–from the massive sharks, to the long-necked pleisosaurs, to the most deadly of sea predators: the mosasaurs. It is the mosasaurs whose spirits do not rest peacefully, and can be seen in the right conditions.

Start your search in the wheat fields out West, where the fence posts are cut from limestone. Near Hays is always a good bet. Camp out under a full moon, and you can sometimes see their sinuous forms cutting through the air as if they were back in the calm and placid waters of that long-gone ocean. Their jaws stretch and snap at apparitions of cuttlefish. Even in death, they are pure killing instinct.

Should one spot you with its dinner-plate-sized eyes, you will run. Your own instincts will take over, and you will run from this creature that is like a crocodile from hell, thirty feet long and faster than sharks, faster than any predator that ever killed in the water.

You will be too slow. Perhaps you will stumble and fall to the ground. In any case, the mosasaur’s ghost will snap its jaws around you. All you will feel is a cold mist, a shiver. And then the spirit will be gone. You might doubt that anything has happened at all. But you’ll remember the experience for the rest of your life. And you might want to make plans. Be sure that when you die, you are as far away from Kansas as you can get.

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