display | more...

My story "The Great VuDu Teen Linux Zombie Massacree" is in a new anthology to benefit the American Diabetes Association entitled Voices for the Cure ... the book also contains stories by Robert J. Sawyer, Mike Resnick, Cory Doctorow, Ernest Hogan, Gary A. Braunbeck, Eugie Foster, Mur Lafferty, James Palmer, and Davey Beauchamp.

The following is a transcript of my nightime mental activity:

I was going to build the largest vinyl record player in the world, and it was going to be the kind with a laser instead of a needle. In fact, I was just going to build the laser by the side of the road and the cars going by would be the record, but then I realised that wouldn't work. So I just made a small one instead, and I put it where the white rainbow and the colored rainbow met because that was a really sacred place, right?

Nearby, there was a pub with the smallest entrance in the world. It was really small, I had to crawl through several narrow tunnels and it was a tight fit even though I'm really skinny. Once I was inside I felt really out of place because everyone inside was four feet tall (rather like the ceiling) and they could all tell I wasn't a regular. So I got a pint and went outside (through the exit, which was normal sized) to look at the castle next door.

I went and sat down next to my sister on a tump of grass at the edge of the cliff to watch the rainbows and the city below. We tried to take a picture, but the lighting wasn't good enough, because it was so cloudy. Then we realised that the ground was rocking gently back and forth, and it turned out that the tump of grass we were on was actually part of the castle cantilevered out over the cliff on a hinge. Well naturally we got off pretty quick, or at least my sister did, she just jumped across back to solid ground. I thought it would be safer to go through the castle, but it wasn't because it was a ruin undergoing restoration and there was scaffolding everywhere.

I had to do some really scary maneuvering on the outside of the castle to get back on the ground.

I almost fell down the cliff. But I made it.

And then I woke up.

The End

I’m sitting in the bus terminal in New York City, waiting for the invariably but unusually late Greyhound home after visiting my ex-girlfriend, current best friend, person which whom I have a hard-to-describe but central-to-my-being relationship. Our relationship feels like it has completed a two-year cycle, like we’re back to the place where you know you like each other but haven’t decided what to do about it yet. Really it’s like that except that we’re a lot closer and usually less awkward and have the ability to say “I love you.” And, well, that she has a girlfriend. So it’s not really cyclical at all—it’s really something different and strange—but it still feels like that. Since I can’t much describe how things actually are, that sense of how they feel will have to suffice.

So I’m in New York surrounded by a couple hundred people waiting for these damn busses. It’s almost cliche that each has a story, but it’s true. That’s mine.

I wait longer and pull out my notebook again. This kind of crowding never happens, people say. There are always cops here, say the New Yorkers. Where are they? Cell phone reception is good enough only for the occasional text message, and in my Greyhound travels I haven’t found the “select terminals” that have WiFi, so there isn’t really any source for news. Busses normally come in and out continuously, say those more traveled than I. Everyone worries silently that something is wrong in the world outside, but that seems somehow detached from our problem, which is simply that we can’t get a bus.

Eventually, hours later, I get on a bus to Pittsburgh and from there travel home, arriving thirteen hours late and never making it to Chicago as I had planned to at what then seemed the last minute. I don’t know whether this delay had anything to do with heightened security in New York due to rumors of a dirty bomb attack by al-Qaeda, but the absense of police may well have.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.