Plugs

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

Read Daniel Braum’s story Mystic Tryst at Farrgo’s Wainscot #8.

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

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

Archive for the ‘Parthenia Rook’ Category

Parthenia Rook, episode IV: In the Hall of the Bonobo King

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

INTERIOR, ONE OF THE INNUMERABLE CORRIDORS IN THE BONOBO KING’S SECRET SUBTERRANEAN LAIR

THE BONOBO KING, a chimpanzee in an expensive Italian suit, sans shoes, walks down the hallway, accompanied by two of his associates: DR MANDRILL, a blue-faced, red-nosed monkey in a white lab coat and HENCH, a shaggy gigantopithecus in stained overalls.

BONOBO KING: Brilliant work, Dr. Mandrill. The anti-gravity suit worked exactly as you said it would. Like being lifted up by the hands of angels. Perfect.

MANDRILL: Thank you, my liege. I trust the baby-bot and zombirazzi performed as expected?

BONOBO KING: They seem to have worked splendidly. After all, Hench got in and out of Fort Knox without any interference by the annoying Ms. Rook. Didn’t you, Hench?

HENCH: In-got.

MANDRILL: If it pleases your excellency, I have a boon to ask.

BONOBO KING: Ask away.

[They enter A GRAND DINING ROOM furnished in gold-crusted Louis XVI furniture.]

MANDRILL: From now on, I would like to be known as “Zaius.”

BONOBO KING [peeling a grape with his toes]: Zaius?

HENCH: Zay-us.

MANDRILL: Zaius.

BONOBO KING [through mouthful of pomegranate]: That’s ridiculous. Your name is Oscar. [Spits seeds.] It’s a perfectly nice name.

HENCH: Oss-car.

MANDRILL: But Zaius just sounds so much more…

[The Bobobo King gnaws on a pineapple.]

MANDRILL: …scientific.

BONOBO KING: Pfaugh! We’ve talked about this before. How those Planet of the Apes movies systematically misrepresent the glories of the coming pan-simian age…

MANDRILL: Isn’t it funny how “pan-simian” starts with the name of your genus.

[The Bonobo King freezes, his teeth just sinking into a kumquat, and stares coldly at his chief scientist.]

BONOBO KING: Exactly what part of “king” is it that you don’t understand, Oscar?

[Dr. Mandrill manages to return the stare for a few seconds before faltering and looking away.]

MANDRILL [quaveringly]: My apologies. I forgot myself.

BONOBO KING: Take that tone with me again, and I’ll ask that Gibbon sisters make sure that everyone else forgets you as well.

[Dr. Mandrill falls groveling at the king’s feet.]

HENCH: Pan-sim. I…

[His expression suggests he’s forgotten what he’s going to say next.]

BONOBO KING: Come on– [Burps.] Haven’t you got some new and even more nefarious devices to demonstrate? I believe you mentioned something about a giant robot that transforms into a robot giant?

MANDRILL: Oh, yes. I’ve worked up a few things I think you’ll enjoy quite a bit. And Parthenia Rook won’t enjoy at all. Heh. Heh-heh.

BONOBO KING: HA!

MANDRILL [maniacally]: Eee-hee, eee-hee, hee-hee-heeeeee!

HENCH [uncertainly]: HEH.

BONOBO KING [diabolically]: MWAHAHAHAA!

Parthenia Rook, Episode 3: Fallen Lepidopterists

Friday, June 1st, 2007

The android toddler, Parthenia Rook reflected, had in the end been more dangerous than the zombie photographers. But far more dangerous than either was the kirchenstreuselkuchen at the Caf&#233 Gefahrlichefrau in Vörpalsberg, where Parthenia was seated in a small, private room with a piece of the cake in front of her. If she didn’t restrain herself, she could eat enough kirchenstreuselkuchen to burst an anaconda wide open. She knew this from experience.

“Excuse me, Fraulein Doktorin, but aren’t you Parthenia Rook?”

Parthenia looked up to see a handsome young man of about her age at the door holding a copy of The Journal of Theoretical Lepidoptery.

“I hope I’m not disturbing you, Dr. Rook, but I’ve read your monograph on Zemeros dinonoctis and I’m afraid I’m a hopeless fan. It was the most fascinating work I’ve ever read on any butterfly whatsoever.”

“Please sit down,” said Parthenia guardedly. “Don’t I know you from somewhere?” She took a small vial she kept for special occasions out of her pocket and tapped a few aromatic drops of its contents over her kirchenstreuselkuchen.

“Oh, I don’t think so,” said the young man.

“Lepidoptery symposium?” she said. The young man shook his head.

“Martial arts fight-to-the-death benefit performance?”

“I’m afraid not.”

“Family event?”

The young man smiled slowly. It was not a nice smile. “Closer.”

Parthenia lurched up from her chair, but the young man appeared to be at least as fast as she was and shot her in the chest with a burst of some electrical weapon. She collapsed to the floor, quivering.

“It’s a new type,” he said cheerfully. “That shot should keep you paralyzed, though fully conscious, for oh … call it twenty minutes,” he said. “More than enough time, actually, to eat your kirchenstreuselkuchen for you. I can’t resist these, I don’t mind telling you. But you should know that. You see,” he said, sitting and forking up a huge bite of the cake, “I’m your identical twin brother.”

Parthenia said nothing, but the young man raised his eyebrows. “You don’t believe me? Despite father’s remarkable skill with genetics? But it’s true, dear sister.”

He continued to eat the kirchenstreuselkuchen, making little humming noises of pleasure. “Of course,” he mumbled through a mouthful, “I was raised by the Bonobo King.”

Then his eyes glazed over, and he collapsed on top of Parthenia. He should be out for at least 30 minutes, Parthenia calculated, if he’d ingested enough of the knockout drops she had put on the cake.

Parthenia spent the remaining seventeen minutes gazing wistfully at a crumb of kirchenstreuselkuchen that had fallen only three inches from her face.

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