Thursday, March 29, 2012

3/29/12

Special Attachments
By Tony Rauch


We enter Becky’s bedroom. It looks exactly the same as always, so I don’t see what the big deal is. I stand in the middle of the room and look around, basically expecting nothing to happen at all. The place looks like a mob of angry monkeys went to town on it, just like always. It’s as if none of her belongings are tucked away anywhere they should be. Everything is just strewn about randomly, with clothing hanging from the light and the tops of doors and in puddles on the furniture and floor.

Janey and Tammy stand beside me.

Becky crouches and opens a secret hidden panel in the lower portion of her wall. She reaches in and pulls out a vest of some sort. She lays the vest out on her wood floor. It looks just like a regular vest to me, but then again I’m standing several feet away from it and not examining it up close.

Becky grabs the top of the vest with both hands, stands, holds it out in front of her and looks it over. “Yeah, this should do,” she nods in considering the garment, then steps over to me, holding out the vest. “It also has some special attachments. . . So, you know, just in case we need some extra stuff,” Becky shrugs.

I hold out my arms, “Where’d you get it?” I ask.

Janey swings around and they both help put the vest on me.

“Mom got it,” Becky adjusts the vest, “Brought it home from work.”

The vest is a little heavy and bulky, thick, but with a strange, comforting warmth to it. I look it over, still holding out my arms. The vest has a pleasant green and blue plaid pattern. Luckily the colors match my jeans.

“It’s getting warm,” I smile, looking up to Janey.

“It’s conforming to your body,” Becky steps back, seeing how it fits. “Your mind sends it signals. It senses what you want. Apparently it should do your fighting for you. . . Your nerves or brain signals will tell it what to do. Through sensors in the back. So it absorbs your thoughts. You just gotta think. . . And that’s it. . . Apparently.”

“It’s supposed to send out a pulse to disable your enemies,” Janey nods.

“Cause ‘em to puke on themselves. Crap hot runny crap. Make ‘em go into convulsions, spasms, or terrible giggling or sneezing fits. Snorting fits. Shooting great torrents of snot out of their nose. Great streams of watery snot. . . Whatever. . .” Tammy crouches to look me over, “Yeah, this should disable ‘em before they can get too close.”

“Make ‘em speak in tongues. . .”

“Make ‘em sputter gibberish. Make ‘em do a funny little dance. . .”

“Make ‘em hop up and down, drooling, spitting . . .”

“Or affect ‘em emotionally,” Janey adds, “Flood ‘em with nostalgia. They may curl up and begin sobbing as an old memory is released from their brain, their emotions overcoming them. . . Basically whatever you want or need at the time, this bad boy of rock and roll will send out a pulse to affect their central nervous system, interrupting their brain waves. Basically you’ll be in some sort of control over them for a moment.”

“It’ll freak ‘em out,” Tammy nods, “It’ll do the trick.”

The vest looks like a normal, regular, everyday vest, although a little puffy do to all the electronics and sensors packed into it.

“Looks all right,” Becky nods, “Decent fit.”

“Whoa, I already feel all warm around you,” Janey smiles, “Like I want to hug you or something. As if you’re projecting good thoughts at me, sending me good vibes. As if your brain is radiating lovey signals. Makes me want to do your homework for you. Makes me want to do your dishes and clean your room.”

“Yeah,” Tammy steps back and looks me over too, “Those Jesper twins won’t know what hit ‘em. . . They’ll leave you alone if they ever run into you again.”

“They’ll leave you alone after tangling with this baby, that’s for sure,” Becky nods, “. . . . Trust me.”


- - -
Tony Rauch has three books of short stories published – “I’m right here” (spout press), “Laredo” (Eraserhead Press), “Eyeballs growing all over me . . . again” (Eraserhead Press). He has additional titles forthcoming in the next few months.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

3/22/12

Impending Incursion
By KJ Hannah Greenberg


I lay supine. Sky’s tears cover my face, torso and limbs. The wind has whispered warnings about the impending arrival of odd vessels, but it is the clouds which are crying.

Perhaps, there will be no ships; maybe, star travelers, possessed of the power to jump among the electromagnetic spectrum’s frequencies, will arrive. Marnim thinks those others will be able to move from infrared to ultraviolet wavelengths and back again, akin to how the rest of us merge from slow lanes to faster one on the highway change Internet servers.

Marnim had kissed my nose, but not my eyelids, my shoulders, or my neck, when he left to attend the assembly on high energy particle telescope findings. Stooped over my easel, tying to complete a drawing of creatures that look like cameras on tripods, I had shrugged a response. My imagined fiends are forced to bend their appendages oddly to ambulate. Marnim predicts we’ll host something more ameba-like.

Another raindrop falls on my chin. Our dome, cracked in places, suddenly vibrates color. Amber, cyan, magenta, and amber, again, illuminate our half sphere, reference our government’s insignia. While the night yet inhales, I will be vaccinated against the plague. It’s illegal to refuse the sacred pathogens; Marnim, away at the conference, will be fined for missing this rendezvous with attenuated death.

Easy code activates our vehicle. In a short span, I reach the School House Memorial, our last standing edifice to an early time. Before crossing its threshold, I finger its brick exterior. Another raindrop falls on the top of my head. The School House fortification, constructed from a titanium alloy, was meant to withstand the magnetized molecular isotopes governments once lobbed at each other. As such, its walls, though never breeched, are well pitted.

I show the myrmidon, that is barring the entrance, my citizen card. He waves one hand as his other does something to scan my irises and thumbprints. Thereafter, that sentry moves aside. Thunder begins before a door closes behind me. I have yet to smell lightening. I work in this citadel, cleaning the bowels which allow it to move waste away from its more delicate organs, from those parts called “dissection,” “ robotics,” and “aquatic research.”

At the first intersection of hallways, I stop. Near my ankles, hushed current herds paper fragments, bits of sloughed skin, missed cigarette ash, and food crumbs. After the walls vibrate cyan and then magenta, I move forward. Vaccinations are given in the surgery.

One uniformed worker points to rows of chairs. Another fills and refills a hypodermic. The needles shoot through citizens’ jugulars. I asked Marnim why we bypassed intramuscular and subcutaneous routes of injection. Although he had studied biology and chemistry before focusing on physics, he had grimaced in response, tilting his head at the government eye sitting in the center of our kitchen wall.

I wish the inoculation room had a window. Midnight rain is singular. The woman ahead of me gets summoned to the nurse’s desk. Swiftly, a man applies what might be an analgesic cream to that citizen’s neck. Just as quickly, he shoots a thick substance into her. I hadn’t thought that serum would be syrupy.

The citizen blanches. An orderly helps her to the next room. I am called to receive my dose. I wish Marnim had not been sent to the meeting. I wish the plague had never occurred. I wish aliens would seek other targets.


- - -
KJ Hannah Greenberg is double trouble. She's been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, helps out as an Associate Editor at Bound Off and at Bewildering Stories, and has two new books launching, A Bank Robber's Bad Luck with His Ex-Girlfriend, Unbound CONTENT, 2011, poetry, and Don't Pet the Sweaty Things, Bards & Sages Publishing, 2012, short fictions. What's more, she makes her hibernaculum of imaginary hedgehogs line up in pairs.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

3/15/12

The Threshold of the Apes
By Tony Rauch


I’m far from home and excited to visit my cousins, whom I have not seen in quite some time. I’m almost to my cousins when I hit a large rut in the narrow sandy road. The wagon lurches to a wobbling halt. I bend to look back and see that a spoke on one of the back wheels has snapped. I manage to work the wagon to the side, into the long grass, out of the middle of the road before the broken wheel bends completely to fold in half under the weight. I jump out and begin to walk up the road to a little farm. I know there is a farm up ahead, a house and barn nestled deep in a field ahead, under a canopy of trees. I know this from hunting around these parts with my cousins when I was younger.

I start down the road, then turn to cut through a path in the field. The entire time I walk I get this strange feeling that someone, or some thing, is watching me. In no time I see the clump of tall trees ahead that hides the little farmhouse and barn.

The wind whips the grass around me as I trudge. Finally I reach the house. The house is in darkness, tucked deeply under a tangle of twisting old trees. The barn is off to the side, before a rug of open sand. I hear a noise from inside the big old barn – some banging and twisting of metal. I approach the open doors, calling out as I walk, “Hello! Hello! Is anyone here?” I step carefully, cautiously looking about, for I do not want to startle anyone. “I need your assistance. Please. I mean you no harm.”

“Yes. Yes,” a voice answers from deep within, “Enter my friend. How can we be of service?”

I step into the shadows. Inside the barn is a young man in work clothes and long white work bib. He stands before an elaborate workbench filled with fantastic gadgets. I stop in my tracks, peering in with curiosity. The work area stretches into the shadows beyond. It is crowded with tall glass test tubes, spiraling wires, coiling tubes, and whatnot - all attached to elaborate wire frames. On a shelf above is a series of large jars, each containing strange things floating in golden liquid.

To the side of the man is a wagon constructed of ornate curving metal framing. Between the metalwork is a wooden infill painted a glossy white with red trim. It is a small wagon similar in size and shape to mine, only this one has thin wiry wheels of metal, springy coils above its axles, and decorative gold fringe and golden decorative rope around the canopy. It is a very fancy wagon, not like the plain ones around these parts. In the corner is a large globe on an ornate wooden stand, and a large brass telescope.

The man sees that I am looking around, almost afraid due to the unfamiliarity of the situation I find myself in. “Oh yes, all of this,” he looks about. “Quite a setup isn’t it?” he chuckles. The man stands not like some all-knowing, granite-solid religious figure that I thought he would be, but softly, like an uneventful, gentle soul. “Please, kind sir, do not be afraid. These are just some small projects I am working on. Some minor diversions to fiddle with in my spare time. Some hobbies I am attending to, if you will,” he gestures his arm about.

“I broke a spoke on my wagon out on the road there,” I gesture, “and I lent my spare to a lady in distress the other day.”

“Oh, well now, surely we can see to that, no trouble. No trouble at all,” the man wipes his hands on his work bib. “That was very nice of you. A nice gesture to help that woman. I’m sure to see that your generosity is repaid in full here today. Do not fret for we will have you on your way in no time. No worries for you, that’s for certain,” he steps and leans to the back of the old barn and snaps his fingers.

A small figure waddles from the darkness of the back. It’s about two feet tall and totters a crooked wobble. It’s a little chimpanzee. And then another appears and then yet another. They’re carrying strange twisty tools the likes of which I’ve never seen before. They approach the wagon and begin applying the tools to it, cranking and adjusting the back of it in some fashion. “Whoa!” I gasp in inspired imagination, “That is very impressive, sir. How did you train those chimps to help out like that? Where did you get them? How did they get so smart as to be able to service your wagon?”

“Oh, I guess you could say they belong to me. As much as a person can own another intelligent being. I guess they’re more like employees,” he looks down at them as they crank away, twisting one of the tools around. “They’re not actually mine, in so much as they stay with me. They assist in taking care of the place. And of course they help take care of me. Yes, they work for me, I guess you could say,” he looks back up to me and smiles.

“Wow,” I exhale, “Very impressive, sir.”

“Demour, Ivor, Pavel, would you be so kind as to see to our new friend here in his needed repairs so he may be on his way and not delayed any longer than is necessary. He is in need of a new wagon wheel,” he looks over to the chimps and they stop what they are doing and turn their attention to the man. They stand still as if thinking for a moment. “And please let Jerimiah and Rafiel know where you are going,” the man nods.

There is a brief suspension of activity and then one of the chimps spins away and waddles chimp-style into the back of the barn.

The man looks back up to me, “My name is Doctor Alexander,” he bows slightly.

“Pleasure to meet your acquaintance sir,” I nod and tip my hat to him, “I am Stephon and I am on my way to visit my cousins in Potter’s Post. I reside in Jeffersonville.”

“Aw, yes, Potter’s Post, a bucolic little village,” the Doctor nods and looks off to the distance with an easy smile, as if considering the locale.

“Did you train all these chimps to help you out around here?” I wonder aloud.

The doctor looks about, “Well, I don’t know that I trained them really, not in the academic sense, unfortunately. That would’ve taken a great deal of time and patience on my part,” he shakes his head and thinks for a moment, placing his hand on his chin to explore the depth of the question, “I don’t know that I trained them really, more like I assisted in their development. By applying certain medical procedures. Oh, ointments, serums, herbs, creams, various injections, and electromagnetic applications. . . . Really now, the potential was always there, as with all living matter. I just helped to bring it out. Raise it to the surface. Accelerate their natural potential. That’s all. So as to ascribe more human capacities – wisdom, worship, freedom of choice.”

“Unbelievable,” I utter under my breath, looking around.

“I merely help them achieve what is possible with various currently known techniques, that’s all,” he shrugs, “I think I could go deeper, bring out more. I mean, with further research and study, I think . . . Well, who knows, really,” the Doctor trails off, “I mean, I ask them if they prefer to stay this way, or remain as they were, returned to their previous natural state prior to my intervening. Most of them want to stay this way. They are a curious bunch, that’s for sure.”

“Why the chimps?” I shrug.

“Well, they’re our closest relatives, so . . . Anyway, I was hoping to accelerate myself, make myself much smarter, but I needed to test my theories out on . . . well, so far, it looks like my applications have been successful. They’ve been working and holding so far. . . . Now just imagine a world full of geniuses. Just take a pill once a day. . . . Or imagine having helpers around, several of them. . . Imagine. . . Think of the time you would have if you had someone there to take some of the load off of you, to . . . well, gee, . . . You never know, I guess. I mean, who knows?” he raises his eyebrows in hope.

“You have others?” I ask, surprised.

The chimp who went to the back of the barn returns from the darkness, rolling a new wagon wheel before him. He rolls it past me, out the large open barn door, and into the sandy path and sunlight.

“Several others, yes,” the Doctor nods politely, “And they are good companions,” he smiles, “Loyal.”

“But . . . How did you?” I stammer.

“Well, there were some unfortunate complications early on. Some initial side effects. I mean, there were some problems with some of the applications at first. But I consulted other doctors, specialists in certain areas, and modifications were made to their treatments. Now I’m fairly certain that. . . . Well, . . . we’ll see,” he smiles hopefully.

“Problems? They look great,” I shrug.

“Well, certain aggressive behavior and such, but I feel . . . I had to isolate certain genes and such, and . . . Well . . .” he looks over to the other two standing before the strange carriage, “Oh, now, run along you two. Please. Really. Assist the gentleman and see that he may resume his journey and be on his way now.” The other little chimps waddle out to join the first in the bright sunlight.

I watch them wander down the sandy path, still carrying their tools in their herky-jerky chimp movements and mannerisms. “Well,” the Doctor sighs, “I guess you should be on your way now.”

“Yes. Indeed,” I nod, “Thank you for your hospitality and patience. And thank you for the new wheel,” I turn to the door, “I shall repay you when I am able. When I am out this way again. I promise,” I bow in gratitude.

“Oh my, no need for that my friend, just come by for a visit sometime when you can. I get so few visitors. Living out in the peaceful quiet has allowed me to concentrate and focus on my work. But it would be nice to talk to people of my own age from time to time. Unfortunately, I fear the chimps and other animals may make people uncomfortable.”

“Oh, sure, the next time I find myself out this way, I promise to stop in,” I don’t really know what to say or do, so I wave and turn and step out the door.

The man calls after me from the shadows, “Anytime. Anytime at all, kind sir. I will show you some of the other things I am working on as well. Goodbye now.”

“See you soon, friend,” I wave and return to the sun and sand and blowing grass. I continue down the sandy path to the road, and then up the road, back to where my wagon tilts in the grass and sun. By the time I get there, the chimps already have the new wheel on. One is standing at the back, holding up the far end of the wagon, his arms stretched out above and holding the entire thing up. The other two tighten the new wheel onto the axle with the strange tool. The one at the back slowly lowers the heavy wagon and settles it gently into the sand and long grass at the edge of the road. The one at the wheel steps back, away from the wagon. The one in back walks around the corner. He is now wearing my old wagon wheel around his neck like a big, cumbersome wooden necklace. He sways from side to side across the road and back into the field. He disappears into the waving grass, I assume to return to his home with the Doctor. The others spin and scamper into the field as well.

“Thank you!” I call out, “I really appreciate all your help. Thank you very much. Really! Thank you! You are an inspiration and positive example for one and all!” I wave.

One of the chimps peeks his head from the tall grass, looks to me, stretches his long hairy arm to wave it back and forth above his bobbing head, sort of giggles or chuckles, then pops back into the field.

I resume my travels and all is restored to a comfortable state of well and fine, the ride as smooth as ever. But then, after a while, in the distance I see several vague gray dots in the sky. I squint to try to make them out. It could possibly be an excursion of balloonists off in the haze. As I continue on and the dots grow closer. I eventually see that they are not balloonists, but several unique winged vessels of some sort, the likes of which I have never seen before. They seem to have light wiry frames underneath their wings. The metal of the frames curls around and around in an ornate pattern, just like the metal of the Doctor’s wagon back in his barn. It is difficult to gauge the size of them, but from this vantage point it looks as if the wings extend about twenty feet. There looks to be three of them, just hanging on the gentle breeze, just floating there, about three hundred feet to my left and fifty feet in the air. As they maneuver to turn away, I see beneath their large wings more clearly. The sun catches them as the wings tilt to turn. Tucked under the wings, within the nest of wiry metal framing, is a large shape lying flat on its stomach. These must be the drivers. I squint and notice they are wearing light blue coveralls. Then the light catches them again, and I see more clearly. They appear to be large, dark, hairy gorillas piloting each of the fantastic flying machines. In studying them more carefully, I see that the wings are also painted a light blue, to try and blend in with the sky. But today the sky is a faded blue and white, with not a cloud in sight, so they are able to stand out a little more, especially as they are near me. They turn to glide away, as smooth as can be, as if silently watching from above, as if to see that I am safely resuming my journey.


- - -
Tony Rauch has three books of short stories published – “I’m right here” (spout press), “Laredo” (Eraserhead Press), “Eyeballs growing all over me . . . again” (Eraserhead Press). He has additional titles forthcoming in the next few months.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

3/8/12

Ponics
By George S. Karagiannis


The other night I dreamed of a catastrophic, gloomy and dystopian vision of my future; I found myself jammed on my living-room armchair in front of my rusty TV box, with ponics unwillingly sprouting from my limbs, head and belly, as if I had been transforming into an ever-growing tree.

It initially started with sticks popping out of my skin like cacti thorns, but soon a colony of tender wood sticks germinated from my dermis and small branches with blooming leaves covered my naked body.

Tree pulp, stuffed in my throat almost suffocated me to death. My lungs were filled with seeds I wanted to sneeze out, causing harsh respiratory spasms and muscle cramps. I became a gargantuan vegetable occupying my entire house, still being unable to control the unmanageable growth, swiftly turning me into a Sequoya.

At some point, my branches broke the windows and embraced the whole house from the outside, my legs were turned into abysmal roots, penetrating the floor and reaching down to the lower floors and even deeper into the soil. My head produced so many stems heading above that they tore apart the ceiling and rendered me access to the sunlight, allowing me to accelerate growth through photosynthesis. Random shrubs were growing here and there from various parts of my body, as if I was giving birth to a plant progeny.

My nervous system was fully developed and sensitive; I could feel almost everything I touched with my branches or other tree parts. Astoundingly my branches had already grown multiple eyes and primitive sensing and kinetic apparatuses. After tearing down and reaching above the rooftop, I was that tall I could use my manifold eyes to take a glimpse of the whole city, spanned amphitheatrically.

I got petrified from what I had witnessed.

To my nightmarish surprise, the city had tuned into an endless plant graveyard, thousands of houses expanded beyond like a colossal plantation facility. Other people had, as well, transformed into gigantic trees and expanded their green kingdom everywhere they could, turning the still life city landscape into an irrigated agriculture. Humans could not but destroy anything resembling civilization, like buildings, cars, even roads to deploy their sprouts, as if they were legendary kraken infesting Viking ships by embracing them with their tentacles, dragging them down to the bottom of the ocean. I judged that given the very quick pace of the evolution, Earth would have soon been solely occupied by a huge plant biomass.

***


After waking up in the morning I felt so thirsty that I could hardly swallow down the mucus that sat upon my lips. I had so strong a fever, it literally got me down to a lethargic mood. I could feel the mop of my hair being so stiffly stacked on my skull, because my night sweats gave it a buttery texture.

I clumsily rushed to the kitchen to gulp down more than seven or eight glasses of water in a row, with a façade of greediness. I tried to keep a normal rhythm of breathing so as not to collapse on the floor due to my unbeatable urge to throw my guts up.

Then, I decided to move outside, on my patio, and rest a bit. That dream was so scarily vivid, that I found myself in need of taking some time off my routine. Fortunately it proved to only be a nightmare!

Fortunately!

But, for some reason I couldn’t understand, I so desperately needed that blinding Sun that very moment; I closed my eyes and tried to focus on miniature sounds coming from birds on trees, here and there. Such a beautiful symphonic piece, they mastered!

Quite oddly, a small bunch of birds flew over and sat by my shoulder. Very strange and unusual indeed; I thought birds were afraid to even come by humans. They stood there on my shoulder for quite a moment. I didn’t harm them! I didn’t want to…

I felt like housing them!

It had already begun.


- - -
George S. Karagiannis was born in Thessaloniki, Greece at 1984. He finished the School of Veterinary Medicine and is currently a PhD student at the University of Toronto in Canada, studying the molecular mechanisms of cancer metastasis. He began writing in an amateur level at around mid-2011 and completed several flash and short story pieces; he is currently in the 'painful' process of publishing them. He is also an abstractionist/surreal artist and his blog can be found here: http://abstractsur.blogspot.com/.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

3/1/12

The Future is Unknown…
By Sergio “ente per ente” PALUMBO
edited by Michele DUTCHER



There are some people who just couldn’t remember the past. As for me, I had started to not remember the future
Now, this isn’t nonsense, having been able to look at forthcoming events from time to time I have often put this weird power of mine to good use. But the insidious illness affecting my mind prevented me from seeing those events as clearly as before.
Reading Tarot cards had been my earliest occupation. I had done that since I was a child learning how to be a fortune-teller, a Cartomancer, from Eszti, the middle-aged woman who owned me at the time. I would roam along the streets of Győr in northwest Hungary, alongside my ‘teacher’, searching for customers in order to have a poor meal in those days.
Finding some passers-by willing to have a quick palm-reading in some evil-smelling alley wasn’t easy, of course. It was difficult to coax people away from the safety of a main avenue in that old part of town. Other than that, we had to constantly watch out for policemen who didn’t like seeing us in the area and were ordered by the local authorities to get rid of our kind, moving people like us away from the most important tourist routes by fair means or foul.
The thing which made all that even more difficult was that Eszti, simply, didn’t possess the ‘gift’. But she tried her best to get by. At times she was able to convince some policewomen to allow her to tell their fortune at no charge, but she tended to overdo it, frequently promising them exaggerated prospects of great luck that turned out to be misleading or self-defeating. Once Eszti even revealed to a young female police officer that she was destined to live a long life with many riches -- in order to ingratiate herself with all that talk -- but the officer suddenly died during a gunfight on the outskirts of town. The following night her friend and another policewoman beat her with heavy rods to make her pay for her lies, as she had shown herself to be only a boaster and a bad seed, clearly. I myself shared in her hard lesson that time.
At that age I wasn’t aware of my ability yet. Not that such a thing would have changed anything that night, but maybe I could have prevented myself from being forced to trudge along painfully for a week, after the beating.
I don’t know if what occurred there led to what I became later on, but without doubt everything began changing that night. Eszti seemed to have recovered from the wounds and the blows she had taken, but it wasn’t really so. She died five days later, leaving me alone in the town streets, without money and with no place to stay. Those were very difficult days, the vexations and the toughs tormented me during the day and sleeping on the sidewalk proved to be almost intolerable - but I survived in one way or another. I still can’t be sure if those events made me stronger or more decisive, but simply little by little I started developing my powers and all those strange visions I felt from time to time - as if I were into a daydream. Over the course of the following months, these things made my life change completely.
I was able to see in advance the street corners where people were going to be more generous, giving money to the needy boys the next day, or I saw the spots where tourists were going to forget a valuable piece of clothing/wallet along the way. I had more chances than anyone else at getting there before all the others.
But, for sure, the best encounter I ever had was with that young politician near Széchenyi Square that morning. Actually, it wasn’t a surprise to me, as I knew I had to meet him just before it happened, thanks to my useful visions, and I was aware, too, that such an occurrence would prove of great significance for the rest of my life.
I saved him from a deadly bombing that his enemies had prepared for him, in an attempt to eliminate a dangerous opponent in that field. After that, my services were of great help to him making his position better and better year by year, defeating all of his adversaries over the course of the long struggle for power that took place in town. My help allowed him to become the most important individual in the whole country at that time.
He really was an up and coming politician, rising to power after the end of a local massacre, when most of Europe was plunging into desperation - and I became his most appreciated aide.
When I was already 60-years-old, he, still living and healthy even although 15 years older than me, was one of Europe’s most prominent men, and very wealthy, too. He had been able to benefit from all of my visions concerning me in the future, which involved him and his resources as well.
I have a regret, and it’s a deep one, indeed.
I wasn’t able to save that man in the end because I couldn’t glimpse any of the future events that awaited him that final day. Simply put, I had never been able to look too far into the future, and for some time I never understood why. Then I figured that out, finally! The fact was that I couldn’t watch things which were going to happen at a time when I wasn’t alive anymore.
And that was exactly the reason because I couldn’t help that man or prevent him from going to that deadly meeting that night. If only I would have had the chance to remember a sign, perhaps - if only I could have reminded myself of some details that I had seen in my visions the day before: that is, I was going to die of natural causes - on the morning of the same day he would be been killed. This would be due to my shortage of my heart medicine, only ten hours before that incident.
Alzheimer is a bestial cruelty to any living being! The fact is that I had already had views of the way I was going to die, many times before. However, I always simply forgot them…
But now, the dead politician’s sons keep my body still alive, attached to some hospital machines and instruments. They even do experiments on me just to discover the secrets of my visions, the origins of my powers. I don’t know if I’m still living or not, maybe I am, in a way, but my mind isn’t around anymore, sure thing - at least not the same way it was before.
Or, simply, the fact is that I’m dead, but I don’t remember being dead anymore…


- - -
"I'm an Italian public servant who graduated from Law School working in the public real estate branch. I've published a Fantasy RolePlaying illustrated Manual, WarBlades, of more than 700 pages.Some of my works and short- stories have been published on American Aphelion Webzine,WeirdYear Webzine, YesterYearFiction,Another Realm Magazine, Alien Skin Magazine,on Australian Antipodean SF, on Orion’s Child Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine and Kalkion Science Fiction and Fantasy Web Magazine. I am also a scale modeler who likes mostly Science Fiction and Real Space models, some of my little Dioramas has been shown also on American site StarShipModeler or MechaModelComp, on British SFM: UK site and Italian SMF. My Sci-Fi/fantasy/Horror short- stories in Italian have been published on Alpha Aleph, Algenib, Oltre il Futuro, SogniHorror, La Zona Morta, edizioni Lo Scudo, etc.”

Here a brief presentation of Michele DUTCHER who edited the short- story:
“Michele Dutcher, aka Bottomdweller, lives in a carriage house in Old Louisville Kentucky with her border collie – Daisy Dukes. She has a BS degree in Elementary Education from Indiana University with minors in theology & sociology and has been writing Science Fiction stories for about a decade.”


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Weirdyear Daily FictionYesteryear Daily FictionClassics that don't suck!Art expressed communally.Von Singer Aether and Steamworks.Resource for spiritual eclectics and independents.Pyrography on reclaimed woodartists featured weeklySmashed Cat MagazineLinguistic ErosionYesteryear Daily Fiction