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
20 Jan 2020

By: Justin C. Key
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Justin C. Key's “One Hand in the Coffin.”
By: Jessica P. Wick
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Jessica P. Wick's “Sap and Superstition.”
I love the idea of representing folk stories and showcasing the culture of my country in a different way.
But I thought of apple skin clinging to a curve, yet unshaped by apple-sorcery.
Corey slipped his hand into the puppet’s back, like he had done many times with the doctor who made him talk about Michael and bathtubs and redness. His breath and stomach squeezed whenever he reached into dark, invisible places.
Wednesday: Vita Nostra by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko, translated by Julia Meitov Hersey 
Friday: Small Waiting Objects by T. D. Walker 
Issue 13 Jan 2020
By: Julianna Baggott
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Terese Mason Pierre
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Terese Mason Pierre
Issue 6 Jan 2020
By: Mitchell Shanklin
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Nikoline Kaiser
Podcast read by: Nikoline Kaiser
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 23 Dec 2019
By: Maya Chhabra
Podcast read by: Maya Chhabra
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 16 Dec 2019
By: Osahon Ize-Iyamu
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Liu Chengyu
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 9 Dec 2019
By: SL Harris
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jessy Randall
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Dec 2019
By: Sheldon Costa
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Mari Ness
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 25 Nov 2019
By: Nisa Malli
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Nisa Malli
Issue 18 Nov 2019
By: Marika Bailey
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Alicia Cole
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 Nov 2019
By: Rivqa Rafael
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Mary McMyne
By: Ugonna-Ora Owoh
Podcast read by: Mary McMyne
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 28 Oct 2019
By: Kelly Stewart
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Kelly Stewart
Monday: Aniara 
,
Load More
%d bloggers like this: