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

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

Read Rudi’s story “Detail from a Painting by Hieronymus Bosch” at Behind the Wainscot.

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

Archive for the ‘Committee to Reanimate the President’ Category


Monday, April 5th, 2010

A chilly spring morning. I was in the back of an ice cream truck midway through the big dig tunnel under downtown Boston, and we were doing 37 miles per hour–I could see the speedometer and a bit of the driver’s shoulder through the sliding window into the cab. Apparently top speed, because we were being chased by a stolen public works street sweeper, which was gaining on us.

“We’re doing youse a favor,” said Moze, my captor/host. He had an accent like a B-movie Mafioso and tattoos of alchemical symbols spiraling up both arms. “Not everybody gets to be a part of dis kinda thing.”

“Dis kinda thing,” being, in this case, the resurrection of Grover Cleveland, the twice and future president. Whose frozen head lay in one of the coolers, a basketball-sized gold-foil-wrapped mass. I wasn’t sure how much of a favor it was, particularly not if the sweeper caught us.

“Sol invictus!” shouted the driver.

“Sol invictus,” said Moze.

The two of them were members of a group who considered the U.S. presidency the modern equivalent of the ancient concept of sacred kingship. They venerated old Grover, the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms, as having risen from the political dead, and had been working to help him come back from the literal version.

And me? I’d Googled a little too aggressively while writing a paper on new age revivals of Mithraism, chatted a little too long on discussion boards I never should have found.

“Time for counter-measures,” said Moze. He meant the milk crates full of half-melted treats we’d emptied from the coolers to make room for the anointed one.

We dumped them out the back. The sweeper was too close to dodge, and skidded on the ice cream sandwiches, sherbet push-ups and SpongeBob SquarePops, sideswiping the tunnel wall.

Clouds of dust boiled out of the sweeper, and a crescendo of horns rose from further back in the tunnel. We pulled away.

“’Victus!” said Moze, and held his fist out for a bump.

“Sorry, man,” I said.

At that moment, I wished I’d researched the Mithras stuff before working on that Watergate paper. But I tasered him, then the driver. We stopped rather abruptly.

When the sweeper crew pulled up and unloaded the cooler with the head, we left a vintage 1972 sticker on the ice cream truck’s bumper: Nixon — Now more then ever.