A Free Short Story
‘Yes yes’ the populace may say. ‘The short stories set in the Demon’s Lexicon universe are all well and good. But you keep speaking of anthologies. And yet anthologies are dodgy, how do we know we’ll like the other stories? How do we know we’ll like yours? How’s about a short story not set in the Demon’s Lexicon universe for sweet, sweet freesies?’
Your entirely imaginary wish is my command. 😉
The fabulous Gwenda Bond has put together a special YA edition of Subterranean magazine, and here it is!
The table of contents is as follows:
“Queen of Atlantis” by Sarah Rees Brennan
“Mirror, Mirror” by Tobias S. Buckell
“Younger Women” by Karen Joy Fowler
“Their Changing Bodies” by Alaya Dawn Johnson
“The Ghost Party” by Richard Larson
“Valley of the Girls” by Kelly Link
“The Fox” by Malinda Lo
“Seek-No-Further” by Tiffany Trent
“Demons, Your Body, and You” by Genevieve Valentine
Am I in some fancy company or what? The stories are released weekly, and Malinda Lo’s and Karen Joy Fowler’s awesome stories are already up.
As of today, so is mine.
I have constantly insisted that it is Undead Prejudice which leads to the vampire boyfriend being so much more popular than the zombie boyfriend. I search for zombie boyfriends all the time. (Um… in bookshops. Not in… cemeteries. Just so we’re clear.) I seldom find them. Though Karen in Daniel Waters’s Passing Strange is a pretty awesome zombie girlfriend.
Just because someone is a little more greeny-grey than glamorously pallid, should that be an obstacle to true love? No, I say! Brains, say the zombie boyfriends! But they mean no.
So, this is my story. Sort of Beauty and the Beast – and sort of high fantasy – and a sort of zombie boyfriend.
This is the adorable meet-cute.
The steps down to the cellar were dark and narrow. She tried to go down carefully, but when she missed her footing and grabbed at the wall to support herself her hands slid and found no purchase on the stone. She landed on her face in wet rubble, pulled herself up on her hands and knees and saw a rat scurrying away under a pile of fallen rafters and stones.
A rat. Mede gave a dry little laugh, strangled as soon as born.
“So,” she said aloud. “You and I are the only ones alive in this place.”
“That’s not quite true,” said a voice behind her.
Mede scrambled to sit up, to turn and see who was speaking, and her movement must have startled the rat. It streaked out of its hiding place and Mede saw its left side for the first time: saw the fur hanging like an open coat to show a flash of bone, the empty twisted blackness where an eye should have been.
The voice was dark and low, like polluted water running underground.
It said: “The rat’s not alive.”
I know, I know. So hot. How do I do it? You can read Queen of Atlantis right here. I hope you enjoy!