Size / / /

Despite the compassion he bore

for them, some

things were out of the question.

Surgical repair, for example. Even

with a high powered

microscope and an assortment of

tiny instruments, one could no more

put a patch on a damaged

wing or red jewel of an eye than one

could treat gossamer or ghost-flesh.

Meanwhile, at work,

he sabotaged the containers of

chemical sprays, eradicated all

vestiges of spiders

and their nasty webs, left doors

and windows ajar, containers of

cafeteria food open,

toilets unflushed. Token efforts,

to be sure; the best he could

otherwise do

was open up his house to them

all year round, provide someplace

warm and nourishing

for them to breed and deposit their

gleaming eggs. One got used to the smell,

to the cloudlets

of black life, to the insane, high-pitched

buzz of their strafing, and when they

landed on him,

crawling about his pale flesh, he took

comfort, as, in the tickling multiplicity

of their legs,

they brailled his love and affection.

(Was it not the Seraphim who bore

six wings? Surely,

there was a hexapodal equivalent.)

Never, ever once, would he swat

at them, even in jest,

and while the accidental havoc

he's caused in his attempts to rid

the world of real vermin

might eventually be discovered,

although the media might puzzle a bit

over his self-applied

nickname (no southern sobriquet,

but a shortened version of the Hebrew

zebûb), not a single

one of his co-workers, family members,

or neighbors would fail to mention how

quiet he was;

how he liked to keep to himself;

the gentle sort of person who, under

no circumstances,

would ever harm even a fly.




Robert Borski works for a consortium of elves repairing shoes in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. You can read more of his work in our archives.
Current Issue
17 Jan 2022

The land burns so hot and high tonight that Let can see its orange glow even from the heart of The City of Birds. It burns so thick she can taste the whole year’s growth of leaves and branches on her lips. It burns so fast she can almost hear the deer and cottontails scream as flames outrun them and devour them whole.
I writhe in bed with fever, chills, chatters and shivers. The near becomes far as the far comes close.
No one gets married before going to space.
Wednesday: Unity by Elly Bangs 
Friday: The Cabinet by Un-Su Kim, translated by Sean Lin Halbert 
Issue 10 Jan 2022
Issue 3 Jan 2022
Strange Horizons
By: Antonio Funches
By: Lev Mirov
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 20 Dec 2021
By: Merie Kirby
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 13 Dec 2021
By: Freydís Moon
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 6 Dec 2021
By: C. S. E. Cooney
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: C. S. E. Cooney
Issue 29 Nov 2021
Issue 22 Nov 2021
Issue 15 Nov 2021
By: Madeline Grigg
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 8 Nov 2021
By: Allison Parrish
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 1 Nov 2021
By: Liam Corley
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Liam Corley
Load More
%d bloggers like this: