Letter From The Editor - Issue 46 - July 2015

5th Annual InterGalactic Awards Winners

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Issue 29
Stories
The Butcher of Londinium
by J. Deery Wray
Riding the Signal
by Gary Kloster
Cloudsinger
by Jared Oliver Adams
For Lenore
by Kenneth Kao
Dark and Deep
by Holli Mintzer
The Flower of Memory
by Michael Haynes
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The Butcher of Londinium
    by J. Deery Wray

The Butcher of Londinium
Artwork by Dean Spencer

As the hulking rhinoceros gored and trampled its way through the gladiatorial market in New Rome, there was one thought I couldn't get out of my head:

The carnage was impressive.

When the bestiary guards caught up with it, they unloaded more than sufficient rounds from their tranq-dart rifles to down the savage creature. Unwarranted, perhaps, but unsurprising; they had let it escape from its pen. The men who were shackled to me breathed sighs of relief.

I had, during the rhino's rampage, felt a twinge of worry. Chained as I was, I could neither have run nor fought, but the same would be true in the arena. I have no illusions about my own abilities. When I'd heard my sentence, to be fodder for the games, I knew I'd be dead soon enough; why not enjoy the unexpected entertainment? I just wish it had lasted longer.

"Where's the surgeon?" One man cried out, then another, adding their voices to the screams and whimpers of the injured.

For a moment, I thought they meant me. But they found their surgeon soon enough, what was left of him. His spirit was awaiting its final passage across the river Styx.

"We need a surgeon," a panicked voice cried. "We'll lose the merchandise."

That's when I raised my hand, and shouted, "Over here."

I've never been one to waste an opportunity.

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