Interzone #270

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Rushford Recapitulation by Christopher Mark Rose
illustrated by Richard Wagner

An eggbeater. An autopipette. A Texas Instruments TI-30 calculator.

When Connie Romanski’s water broke, Zack was working on his car, out under a sticky old hickory tree. He knew he had already made one mistake, and now he wasn’t going to get his Chevy Nova back together fast enough. He had bought the wrong gasket. After disconnecting the spark plug cables and half a dozen other connections, and slathering up that gasket with a drippy black sealant that smelled foul when it hit the hot engine, he saw it was never going to fit. Then he heard Connie’s shriek.

Like You, I Am A System by Nathan Hillstrom

I did it because I love you.

Dirty Code by Wayne Simmons
illustrated by Dave Senecal

He wakes in his own time. No alarm buzzing in his ear, no sun cutting through the glass. Just his eyes opening, adjusting to the half-light of the room and the woman beside him.

He rolls the covers back, sits up. There’s an old electric lamp by his bed and he flicks it on then walks across the room. Checks the mirror, turns his face this way and that. Everything’s there that needs to be there.

Encyphered by Jonathan L. Howard

“We all have our secrets.” How could his mother smile as she said such a thing? How could she smile as she roped his whole life around with steel cable and drew it tight?

The New Man by Malcolm Devlin
illustrated by Richard Wagner

I used to write you poetry. I found pages of it in our bedroom, folded four times and tucked snug behind the bedpost on your side of the bed. I sat and unfolded the paper, spotted with grey circles which smeared and spiked the blue ink. The handwriting was mine, but the words were written by the person I used to be.

I set to reading them, but soon struggled. The individual words were clear, but they became lost in sentences which were difficult, lines that I couldn’t decode at all.

Evangeline and the Forbidden Lighthouse by Emily B. Cataneo
illustrated by Richard Wagner

I read once that all over the world, people who live oceanside tell stor­ies about how their stretch of coast is haunted. Of course, I’ve never left the country, so I can only speak for the inlet where I once lived, Fox Sands. The local legend there concerns a lighthouse, a thin gray spindle on a handful of gray rocks, perched just on the edge of the geographical horizon. No one knows who built it, but its beam always sweeps the roiling ocean when storms march up the Atlantic, and the story runs that its keeper has lived there for centuries with a certain gift from the lighthouse: no crow’s feet, no ticking clocks, only climbing spiral stairs to the lantern room with knees and ankles that never ache, on endless day after endless day.

Memories of Fish by Shauna O’Meara

The drone hangs, unmoving, above a wet, cement thoroughfare. The three-hundred-and-sixty degree image it feeds to The Tourist’s surround-screen is of a mountain marketplace near Bandarawela. Ground tarps bearing all manner of Sri Lankan fruits, vegetables and spices flank the rain-puddled path and, in turn, both hemispheres of his living room, the calls of the vendors in their sarongs, reddas and saris piercing through The Tourist’s audio alongside the scents of curry, cow-dung and damp vegetation called forth by the olfactory interpreter.

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