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Far Fetched Fables No. 87 Adam Browne and Andrew Kozma

December 29, 2015 by Gary Dowell

Flash Fiction: “The Judges” by Andrew Kozma

The judges would not leave him alone.
They followed him from home to work, watched him while he walked his dog, spied on his first dates, and checked him out while he was checking himself out in the mirror. Even while he was using the bathroom, they watched his every move.
Oh, the judges didn’t say anything. That was part of the problem. They didn’t judge him in a way that was either morally approving or disapproving. Instead of talking, they used numbers. They used giant head-size cards like he’d seen on old game shows, or in satires of the Olympics. There they’d be, sitting behind their desk, and they would hold the numbers up in front of their faces.


Andrew Kozma is from Yorktown, Virginia, and currently “lives” in Houston, Texas. He is a graduate of George Washington University, with an M.F.A. from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. from the University of Houston. He writes most everything creative, though currently focuses on Young Adult science fiction and fantasy novels. His work has been or will be published by Drabblecast, Daily Science Fiction, Albedo One, and Stupefying Stories. You can find him online here.

“The Judges” first appeared at Daily Science Fiction on September 14, 2015.

Main Story: “Honeymoon” by Adam Browne

Bob Rally wasn’t crazy about the band. It wasn’t their music that bothered him — a light dinner-jazz so inoffensive you didn’t even hear it after a while — nor was it the musicians themselves, who were standard-issue in every way.

Bob’s problem was with the drum kit.

It was biological. The bass drum was fitted with a big transgenic heart, the percussionist adjusting the beat by feathering hormone and adrenal flow.

And Bob, who had been employed as a waiter for the evening, didn’t like it. He gave it a wide berth whenever he had to serve the table near the stage. He was always aware of the heart beating away, its loping cadence infusing the general conversation. Creepy. Like being back in the womb, he shuddered. All he wanted was to finish his shift, hit the strip, and score. Dope, a trip, something — the specifics didn’t matter. As always, Bob Rally was ready to party. Unfortunately, for the next few hours, he was stuck here, at someone else’s party.

The dinner was served on the veranda of a sprawling mansion modelled after the antebellum architecture of the American South. The other waiters moved easily about its latticed expanses, filling glasses and dispensing war-pills to sixty crisp and shining suitors, the sons of the sons of the men who had wrested the planet from the native Jovians. Breeding showed in their sharp eyes, whipcord muscles, and proud carriage. They sat square-shouldered in their refurbished military uniforms, everything dress-right-dress, chatting easily — unperturbed that soon they would be trying to kill one another.

Adam Browne lives in Melbourne, Australia. His story “Neverland Blues” originally appeared in 2008 in Dreaming Again: Thirty-Five New Stories Celebrating the Wild Side of Australian Fiction, and won the 2009 Chronos Award for Best Short Fiction. His first novel, Pyrotechnicon: Being a True Account of the Further Adventures of Cyrano de Bergerac among the States and Empires of the Stars, by Himself (Dec’d), was published by Coeur de Lion in 2012, and is still available as a print-on-demand illustrated hardcover. His collection of short stories, Other Stories and Other Stories, was published by Satalyte in 2014, and is available as an audio book. His website can be found at adambrowne.blogspot.com.au.


About the Narrators:

Seth Williams is a reader, sailor, and retail banker, in that order, who lives on the south coast of Massachusetts. Not a writer but a lover of genre fiction and the spoken word. He can be contacted at theboojum.org.

Geoffrey Welchman writes, produces, and voices The Reigning Lunatic podcast, a medieval sitcom. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland. You can find him online at geoffreywelchman.com.


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