Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Deathgrip: Exit laughing ships tomorrow

That about says it... my short story, "All the Wonderful Toys," is one of the many funny and horrible stories in the latest anthology from Hellbound Books. Here's the first part of it.


Chris blinked in surprise as he read the email. There was no title, nothing in the address box, just a simple text message: YOUR SEA MONKEYS ARE HERE.

He jumped slightly as he heard something hit the floor in the hall outside his apartment. In front of his door sat a manila envelope, with his name and address on it, and some stamps from a country whose name he couldn't identify. He picked it up, felt what might have been a package of seeds shifting inside; opening it he saw a slip of pulp paper, yellow with age and with clumsily cut edges. On it was printed an order form for one package of sea monkeys, with CHRIS CHEUNG filled out in an early version of his handwriting. He reached in and drew out the slip. At the bottom of the envelope was a small, flat package, maybe three inches by four. Though it bore no obvious signs of age, it was unmistakably of another time, and on its front was a line drawing he remembered from ads in hundreds of comic books: four creatures, humanoid and flesh-pink but with flippers, fishtails and three balled antennae on top of their heads. One of them, sitting in the foreground, had blonde hair as well, eyelashes, red lips and a bow in her antennae; he could just imagine, in the blurry illustration, a come-hither look on her face. Looking at her Chris felt an echo of something. Though he could barely remember having sent away for the package, he knew that it had been her picture that had made him cut up one of his precious comics and send in the order form and dollar-twenty-five.

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