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

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.

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

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

Archive for the ‘Mythos’ Category

Dinner out in the Yucatan

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Rowena blew dust from the stone tablet.

“Look here.” She pointed at some blurred characters.

“I can’t read them,” I replied, “these are pre-Mayan. No one can read this script.”

“I know,” she replied, brushing a lock of hair away from her face. “But last night I dreamed about a stone city. I read this inscription on a temple gate. Listen.”

As she recited the alien syllables I felt that I almost understood them, that I knew the dread city of which she spoke.

I clapped my hands over my ears. “Stop!”

“People stood around an altar. A priest cut out your heart with a gold knife. The heart was given to me.” I looked at her, but she turned away. “I ate it. You were dead.”

“We should leave,” I said. “Now.”

I seized her arm, but she slipped out of my grasp, darting through a door that gaped nearby. I ran after her. She eluded me among the shafts of light and darkness. When I came to a courtyard I was surprised to see her standing there beside a stone table the height of her chest.

“This is the place,” she whispered, “this is where I saw you slaughtered.”

“That was a dream.”

Even as I said this I thought I remembered the scene she had described, and I felt something stir within me. Her sorrowful expression changed to one I could not interpret.

I was on my back. I tried to tell her that I needed food, that I felt hungrier than I ever had, but no words came. I sat up. I caught her hands and tried to explain, but she would not listen, trying to pull free, and shouting. I gave up on talk. There was no time for that now. Hunger was all I had, my vision shrank to a blurry point, and I could do nothing but fill my belly.

I came to my senses on the open hillside. My shirt was wet. The sun set in a welter of crimson and ragged shreds of cloud. A couple of Mayan youths in shorts and dirty shirts stood near. I called to them, but when they approached me their faces changed and they fled. I struggled to my feet, felt the awful hunger returning. Maybe the young men would give me food. I stumbled after them in the gathering dusk.

The end

An Abruptness of Gulls

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

The rain-slicked cobblestones.
The pleasure girl, and what she saw.
The pallid man and his burden.
The unwelcome attentions of hired guns.
A dock, and what was moored there.
A cabin, and what was hurled there.

A father and his grief.
The bloodhound and a soiled dress.
The alley’s end.
And what was found there.

An abruptness of gulls.
The sameness of days.
A rocking of swells.
An eternity in the dark cabin.

A dockside tavern and a looseness of tongues.
An open palm and the readiness of coin.
A ship, most excellent and speedy.
A pursuit and the hope of rescue.

A port, the shining sand, a singing in the trees.
The tendrils that writhe.
Calls that echo and reply.
The narrow and winding path.
A bicep gripped by a tall man’s hand.
An ancient rune-carven stone.
An intonation of Words.
A flowering of crimson.
The opening of a Door.

The silence of leaves underfoot.
An imposition of tendrils.
The virtues of tempered steel.
The silence in a clearing.
Some consequences of tardiness.
A buzzing of flies.
The stickiness of that which remains.
A gathering interest of crows.

The end

For Fritz Leiber

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