Copyright © by Jason H. Abbott, All Rights Reserved.
Featured Image: Quiet, by Denis Istomin
“We’re driving a busload of freshly armed teen schoolgirls on a rescue mission through a city overrun by giant, cybernetic, chainsaw spiders,” she says. “Are we mad?” The bus driver grins over his shoulder, passing the teacher a shotgun. “What, me worry?” Spaz leapt with his new Kanga-Robo legs. “Dan’s Deathly Discount Cyber-Shop is the best!” “For you,” Paste Pot grumbled. “They only had left legs in my size.” “But—” “They installed one backwards to fit!” “But—” “I’m walkin’ in circles here!!” The harbor is crisp in morning sunshine. She dips her broom. Holds tight in her galoshes. Lets loose all her speed. Fingers skim the Atlantic. Lobster buoys bob in her wake. Zooming just above the water, she laughs. She’s a witch. She’s flying. She’s alive. Our toes draw lines in wet sand. “We liked it here?” “Yes. I’d talk of the cosmos. You wrote poetry.” I look to the whitecaps. “We’re waves. Stardust orphans of lost supernovas. Cresting, receding, reforming.” They take my hand. “Love, our only constant.” The sea witch scrutinized the bird on the pirate’s shoulder. “You… you’ve hidden the Kraken’s Key, in your seagull?!” He tipped his tricorn hat. “Um, arrr, well—” “That’s ingenious!” “It’s not that atoll!” “What?” “Yar! ‘E thought it was a French fry!” She raised her hands at crossbowpoint, one holding a foot-long rod. “Drop the wand!” the guard shouts. “It’s not a wand,” she says, pressing its button. Springing to a ten-foot pole, it knocks him out with a blow between the eyes. “But it’ll do,” she finishes. I feel the impact. Then I’m being shaken awake by some girl in my shirt. “Wake up, dolt!” the child yells. Checking for a wound, I find I’m a shirtless boy in my adult pants. “The hell?” “Soulsplitter demon,” she says. “I’m your anima. You, my animus.”