Letter From The Editor - Issue 69 - June 2019

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Issue 5
Stories
Beauty's Folly
by Eugie Foster
Under Janey's Garden
by Margit Elland Schmitt
Rumspringa
by Jason Sanford
The Polka Man
by William John Watkins
Original Audrey
by Tammy Brown
From the Ender Saga
The Gold Bug
by Orson Scott Card
Tales for the Young and Unafraid
Toon Out
by David Lubar
Braces
by David Lubar
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews
Essays by Orson Scott Card
Who Is Snape?
by Orson Scott Card

Toon Out
    by David Lubar
Toon Out
Artwork by Lance Card

I'm scared. Before today, I was still able to convince myself that it was just a silly idea. But when my sister came home from school, I realized that none of it was my imagination -- it was real. Leslie started band this morning. I prayed she'd want to learn flute or clarinet. Lots of girls play flute. I wouldn't even have minded if she'd brought home a french horn or an oboe.

Leslie came home with a saxophone.

That's when I knew for sure. Look at all the evidence. Last month, my dad quit the law firm where he worked and took a new job at the power plant. He's gained a lot of weight, too -- a whole lot of weight. All day long, he eats donuts and drinks beer. He doesn't help me with my homework anymore. Yesterday, he tried to choke me. Luckily, he got distracted by a commercial for fudge.

Mom changed her hair. She's got it piled up on top of her head. It's a funny color, too. My baby sister, Mandie, decided she wouldn't go anywhere without a pacifier.

There's no doubt about it. I'm sure now. My family is turning into the Simpsons.

When the thought first occurred to me, I'd laughed. We're real people. We aren't cartoons. So what if Humbert -- I mean Dad -- had a new job? And lots of moms change their hairstyle.

That was only the beginning. Next thing I know, I have two new aunts. I never had aunts before. Suddenly, these two strange women who look like mom start dropping by. The worst part is that they both smoke. Pew.

Then Leslie started getting smarter and smarter. She's my younger sister. I've always been the smarter one. But for the last few weeks, it's seemed that she knows a lot more than I do. Now, she plays the saxophone. And she wants me to call her "Lisa."
Toon Out
Artwork by Lance Card

She took the saxophone right up to her room. Even though she just got it today, she's already playing music. And not beginner stuff like "Three Blind Mice." She's playing jazz.

I don't want to be Bart. I want to be me -- Bert Stinson. Maybe it's not too late. Maybe there's something I can do to stop it before the change is complete. That's why I'm trying to write down everything I can remember since the changes began.

Darn. I keep dropping my pencil. My fingers are so short and stubby. Wait a minute. Didn't I use to have five fingers on each hand? It's so hard to remember. Hey -- why am I writing this? No idea. Weird stuff. I just read it and it makes no sense. Well, it's nothing to have a cow over. Think I'll grab my skateboard and head out.

Later, dude...


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