Story: “Flesh of the City, Bones of the World” by John R. Fultz
The Surgeon’s hands are his most delicate instruments.
From the slim silver bones of the ten fingers to the minute arrays of gears, cogs, and springs set for agility and precision, to the pale elastic skin that stretches over the whole array, his hands are marvels of science. The rest of his body is no less amazing, no less detailed in its construction, a silver skeletal scaffold filled with organs of bronze and copper sheathed in that same supple skin without blotch or blemish.
His patients take these things for granted, ignorant of the miracles of design that sustain their existence. But he is a Surgeon and he knows the secrets of human biology as intimately as he knows the body and mind of his own wife.
While prepping for the operation, he recalls her silver skull laid bare and glimmering as she removed the demure porcelain mask that is her public face. The memory is from last night. They had danced in the courtyard of glass sculptures, baring body and soul beneath a canopy of stars. Tonight they will celebrate the return of their son from five years at the Ministère de Education. In a few days the boy will enter this chamber and at last become a man.
John R. Fultz lives in the North Bay area of California, but grew up in Kentucky. His latest novel, The Testament of Tall Eagle, arrives in June 2015 from Ragnarok Publications. John’s Books of the Shaper trilogy includes Seven Princes, Seven Kings, and Seven Sorcerers (Orbit Books). His first short story collection is The Revelations of Zang, a series of interrelated tales born in the pages of Weird Tales and Black Gate. John’s work has also appeared in Year’s Best Weird Fiction (Vol. 1), That Is Not Dead, Shattered Shields,Lightspeed: Year One, Way of the Wizard, Cthulhu’s Reign, The Book of Cthulhu II, and other fine publications.
About the Narrator:
Nicola Seaton-Clark lives in the wilds of (almost) Eastern Europe with her long-suffering husband, phenomenal children and a grumpy cat. Trained as an actress and singer, she has worked in entertainment for over 20 years and currently splits her time between writing speculative fiction, helping her husband run their voice-over company, Offstimme, and voicing everything from commercials and documentaries to public transport announcements. She also hosts this podcast…