Susannah Mandel’s short story “The Monkey and the Butterfly” is in Shimmer #11. She also has poems in the current issues of Sybil’s Garage, Goblin Fruit, and Peter Parasol.

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

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).

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

Archive for the ‘Making Divinity’ Category

Bradley the Magnificent

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Making Divinity

The Cabbage-Patch God
The Dolls’ Crusade
A Natural Attraction
A Remarkable Reaction
*Bradley the Magnificent

Brad felt good, really good, as he got out of his red Mustang coupe. Why Officer Kelly hadn’t given him a speeding ticket he had no idea. He would’ve bet on Kelly ticketing God Himself for going 90 in a 45 zone. My mojo kicks ass, he thought. His grin faltered as he stumbled over the weirdly cracked and rippled pavement in the middle of the school parking lot. The pavement that, he told himself firmly, had NOT spontaneously shaken itself last week into an uncanny semblance of his own face. He scowled in concentration all the way up the front steps. Behind him, the parking lot smoothed out like the still surface of a pond.

When Brad walked into school at 8:04, Assistant Principal Goodwin was waiting in front of the office, arms folded.

“Bradley Jones,” she said, shaking her head as though looking at something disgusting left by a puppy, “I told you yesterday …”

“I am not tardy,” Brad said.

“…that you are right on time. Keep up the good work, young man.” She wheeled around and marched into the office, the door swinging shut behind her.

Wow, it worked on Goodwin, too. Somehow he’d acquired supernatural powers overnight. Brad’s grin was back. As he strolled toward Mr. Datta’s math class he wondered, did a God need algebra? Did He even need high school?

At lunch, that stupid freshman Kayla whatshername stared at him with an intensity that was truly unnerving. He could feel her gaze from three tables away. “Seriously creepy,” he muttered. She had become obsessed with him lately, and no matter how rude he was it made no difference. “I wish she wasn’t interested in me at all,” he thought. There was a noiseless thump, and Kayla looked away. Good! But he was momentarily nauseated, and so dizzy he had to grip the edge of the table till the room stopped whirling.

“You alright?” Chuck asked, “Brad?”

Brad waved him away and stood up quickly, but all afternoon he felt odd.

Driving home as fast as the Mustang would go, Brad found Officer Kelly waiting for him. This would be no problem. But Kelly hit the lights and pulled him over. No matter what Brad said, thought, or did, Kelly took out his ticket book and wrote a $238 ticket, which Mom would not pay for.


A Remarkable Reaction

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Making Divinity
The Cabbage-Patch God
The Dolls’ Crusade
A Natural Attraction
*A Remarkable Reaction

Since she was a small child, Kayla had created gods. In fact, anything she worshipped became a God (if it wasn’t already). For example, for three weeks when Kayla was 5 years old a newly raised Cabbage-Patch God had commanded the fealty of all other denizens of the toy shelves. Kayla had since learned to control her adoration, because it quickly became inconvenient to be trailed by a cloud of transitory deities. As a freshman in high school, Kayla seemed cool, sophisticated, maybe a little stuck up. Supernatural powers will do that to a young girl, no matter how sensible she is.

For a while, Kayla worried that any expression of animosity on her part might create demons, or at the very least destroy the people who angered her. It did not take long for her to realize she could hate anyone she liked: nothing would happen. This was a liberating discovery for a teenager. Life is good when you’re young, and imbued with a power most cannot even dream of. Even if you don’t use it. However, there comes a time in the life of every young person when he or she meets someone whose existence becomes as important as life itself.

The marriage of perfect form with flawless function that was Bradley Jones hit Kayla like a ton of bricks. It would be useless to describe his warm green eyes, his exquisite shell-like ears, or his curly auburn locks that Kayla longed to comb with her fingers. His broad shoulders, flat and creamy stomach, his straight and symmetrical nose; these too can be named, but to no purpose. We cannot truly appreciate the effect Bradly had on Kayla unless we remember the heat that caused our hands to tremble on that day long ago when we glanced at someone and realized for the first time that Beauty had come to earth.

“Bradley,” Kayla murmured as he leaned casually against the wall. Her heard pounded so hard dust particles danced with each pulse.

He raised an eyebrow and turned away.

Kayla would do anything for Bradley. Anything. But lest you fear that she created a monster with the power of a god and the self-control of a 17-year-old boy, let me allay your fears. Kayla loved Bradley with all her heart. She worshipped the very ground he walked on.

The end

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