We came to your planet because we knew that you, the peoples of Kill Bill and Saw and Vietnam and Columbine Massacre would understand us. You could not call us monster, as our subjects had done, and you would not call us morally reprehensible, arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct. We had watched your entertainments, our satellites catching your transmissions from so many fog years away, through so much space we marveled at the quality of transmission. The other planets never sent out such good entertainments. Yours we liked to watch most, the four of us, as our subjects screamed from the metal chambers which we had locked them in and which we never strayed from so we could hear them as they cried.
Category: Drabblecast B-Sides (Page 1 of 10)
Alaya is the author of speculative and historical fiction and has written six novels. Her stories have been featured in Asimov’s, Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Welcome to Bordertown. She is also a recipient of the Cybils and Nebula awards.
“I enjoy watching children,” she said. “It comforts me to remember that I too was a child once, and one day they too will be old.”
Her shiny olive skin was firm, but even the best youth-treatments couldn’t hide the purple veins that snaked around her arms like cables. She appeared to be in well-preserved middle-age; only I and a few other agents knew the truth. Her eight remaining fingers were casually laced over a knobby walking stick that she carried for show. A particularly knowledgeable observer might have noted that the cherry-red wood was at once lighter and stronger than any known on Earth. Dr. Constance Roya was a scientist in the ancient sense, when that term implied at least as much of a reckless love for adventure as an appreciation of form and method and the furtherance of human knowledge.
“You told me it was a skinny guy,” said the uniform.
“Fat Jimmy is skinny,” said Wilbur.
The uniform sighed.
“So you bought the weed from a skinny dealer called Fat Jimmy?”
“Didn’t buy, just holding.”
“For Fat Jimmy?”
“That’s what I said: Fat Jimmy.”
“Where did Fat Jimmy get it?”
“I don’t know,” said Wilbur. “His man.”
Awareness terrified the golem, but the burning paper in his mouth and the word written on it gave him comfort. It filled him with wonder and fear, knowledge and life. Saint Darwin had fashioned the paper from a certain bush on an Egyptian mountainside that was impervious to fire. When the golem’s life dissipated, the flames would sputter out but the mystical paper would never be consumed.
—What’s that? they asked.
—Why, it’s only two clowns arguing.
Who could take them seriously? Ridiculous, the two comedians reparteed.
The arguments were common nonsense, the theme was a ninnery.
And an entire day passed.
The following morning, the two remained, obnoxious and outdoing each other. It seemed as though, between them, even yucca soured. In the street, meanwhile, those present were exhilarated with the masquerade. The buffoons began worsening their insults with fine-edged and fine tuned barbs. Believing it to be a show, the passersby left coins along the roadside.
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