Short Fiction: “Darkening Skies” by Oliver Buckram
Main Story: “The Angel of Death Has a Business Plan” by Heather Lindsley
(Originally published in The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination: Original Short Fiction for the Modern Evil Genius.)
Carl has a pair of purple knee-length boots in one hand and a black PVC codpiece in the other. “Sorry, Angie, I’m running late,” he says. “I just need to get changed.”
“We can do it in street clothes, Carl.”
“No, no — it’s not the same without the costume. I’ll be quick, I promise.”
Carl is a regular client, and one of my first, so I cut him some slack. I should have been able to help him years ago, but I keep coming because he seems to get closer every week. Or maybe that’s just what I tell myself. Living in Megapolis is damn expensive, and a little steady income doesn’t hurt.
I take seat on Carl’s couch, clearing away a stack of Commander Justice comics first. He says he’ll be quick, but I’ve seen him struggle in and out of those boots too many times to believe him.
The comic on the top of the stack catches my eye. Is this the end for Commander Justice? I wish, but of course it isn’t. I flip through the first few pages before tossing the candy-colored propaganda aside.
“You really shouldn’t read this crap,” I tell Carl when he finally comes back into the room. “It can’t be doing anything for your confidence.”
“I need to keep up with his latest crime fighting techniques.”
Heather Lindsley’s stories have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, and Lightspeed, as well as John Joseph Adams’s dystopian anthology Brave New Worlds. She has been featured on Escape Pod as a writer and on Podcastle as a reader, and her stories have been published in Polish, Romanian, Russian, and French translations. She currently lives in Brighton and works in London, which gives her more time to write her novel on the train.
You can follow her on Twitter as @RandomJane.
About the Narrators:
Nikolle Doolin is a writer and a voice actor. Her fiction, poetry, and plays have been published and presented; and her voice has appeared in various mediums. Nikolle has performed numerous narrations for a number of popular and award-winning podcasts, such as: The NoSleep Podcast, Tales to Terrify, and Far-Fetched Fables. She also narrates classic literature by the likes of Austen, Poe, James, and more in her own podcast Audio Literature Odyssey. To learn more about Nikolle, visit her website at nikolledoolin.com.
Janice Joos hails from the Midwestern United States where she lives in a constant state of motion with her husband, two children, one dog, two cats and a turtle. Trained and working as a classroom teacher of all levels, she realized she talked all the time or read stories so why not become a voice talent too. Since 2013 she has been listening to herself talk. For more information contact her at email@example.com.