Copyright © by Jason H. Abbott, All Rights Reserved.
Featured Image: The Mothers, by Michael MacRae
I disable the implanted wetware and ask how she’s doing. Her Texas drawl withers in a long reply. A supplanted commercial personality of sexual innuendo and compliance fades along with it. Her true self resurfacing, she cries as I remove the Stepfording chip. “How can nobody see that rolling ball of pincers and eyestalks chasing us?!” “Chemistry!” Marv shouts, mid-sprint. “Its pheromones make humans instantly forget it! A mirage of invisibility!” “Then how can we see it?” “I’m an alien! You’re a mutant!” Serpentine coils envelop golden eggs. “You recovered all but one,” says the great snake. She cradles a baby at her breast. “This one hatched human along the way.” “So, you desired a child?” She nods. “He’s now more your son than mine. Take my blessing.” The pan leaves the oven. Its aroma wafts. “What’s your recipe, Grandma?” “Oh, any box recipe will do,” she answers. “Then wring the essence from a murderer and add it to the mix.” The gingerbread man sits up and gnashes oversized fangs. “Sweet!” “Wicked.” I speak with my sister through cracks hidden behind our toy chests. In the place where she is, on her side of the crack, I was the one who died when we were born. Not her. Now every day we dig the hole wider. Hunting, hoping for a place where we grow-up together. “You’ve corrupted my wish!” he yells over multitudinous quacking. “What?” “I wished for a MILLION BUCKS!” he bellows back, chucking a mallard off his head. “Not—” “You need to speak up,” the genie says. “I’m hard of hearing, and a million ducks ain’t helping!” “You disgust me,” the lieutenant says to his squad. They continue to cower under the couch. “If they want us to do stealth shrink covert eliminations,” one grumbles, “we need weapons that kill more than humans, Sir.” The cat paws under the couch again.