Plugs

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.

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.

Angela Slatter’s story ‘Frozen’ will appear in the December 09 issue of Doorways Magazine, and ‘The Girl with No Hands’ will appear in the next issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.

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

Archive for the ‘Postcards from Pandemonium’ Category

POSTCARDS FROM PANDEMONIUM

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

INCIDENT AT VALENTINO’S

Through solid information I had heard that Minaesphoptuian Hirentheah, a minor demon, a particularly slippery class six, had been at Valentino’s Bar and Grill. Valentino’s was a real spiffy pool joint; two floors, over a hundred tables, a sexy wait staff; place got real crowded on Sat nights. It fit Minaes’s modus operandi; debauchery and desire. Money and sex and egos flying around along with drunken pool games made for bad bargains and easy dealings.

Why work harder than you need to, the last demon I had collared said to me. And I agree. But I don’t take bribes, I collect bounty. Big difference.

As I enter Valentino’s I think of her sitting in the secured cell in my basement. Sooner or later a bounty to go out on her, and the rest of them.

Minaes stands out in the crowd to me, clear as day. I see right through her guise of zoot-suited pool shark. Then she sees me when shouldn’t. I’m masked to the gills way above what a class six can detect. But her glances betray her and she shows me the positions of the five major demons at the bar and tables. To the crowd they look like grizzled under cover cops.

Minaes dissipates into the ether, not bothering to cover her tracks but I can’t follow. A storm of demonic magic flies at me. Curses. Words of binding. I buckle in pain as the demons encircle me.

“Bounty on you, Ilyanna,” one of them says. “Illegal detention of Infernal-kind.”

I try to escape but I have no strength.

“There are bounties on all of you,” I say. “Hunters that have been on your tails for centuries. Release me and I shall hunt them…”

“A deal?” Another of the demons says. They are quiet. Conversing in each other’s minds. The crowd is running out of the joint in panic, thinking it’s a raid.

“Seal the deal in blood?” the first one asks.

It’s a dangerous game, opening my veins voluntarily around their kind. Voluntary is the key for them to have a hold on me. A guarantee I’ll keep my part. I don’t know if its gonna make things worse, but I’m not going back to Pandemonium, not tonight, so I might as well try.

I allow them to open my vein and I ready to receive the blood.

– END –

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