Day Job

by Domashita Romero (地下ロメロ) illustrated by neomeruru Read this piece’s entry on the Shousetsu Bang*Bang wiki. Louis was sure of two things: one, the new guy was literally, actually a demon. Two, the new guy was fucking hot. He didn’t mention it to anyone, of course. For one thing bringing it up either thing in […]


The Scribe

by neomeruru (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/304184.html) – send the artist a comment directly (you must be logged in) see this piece’s entry on the Shousetsu Bang*Bang wiki Love5


The Frying Pan Into

I shook a ton of hands and smiled all sparkle-white to the boys in their suits when we got out of the restaurant, and kept smiling until every last one of them got into their black cars and drove away. “Motherfuckers,” I said, when I was alone, and stopped smiling. I’d have much better wrinkles if I didn’t have to smile so damn much. If our deals worked out, I’d send them the bill for the Botox.

I stepped out of the middle of the sidewalk, because I wasn’t a goddamn tourist, and dug through my purse looking for a cigarette. “Fuck,” I grumbled when I found nothing. I’d technically quit, but technicalities meant sometimes there were emergencies, like having just spent four hours watching a bunch of douchebags eat steak. Not even a lighter in my purse; one of the girls had probably done a sweep of my condo and thrown out all of emergency supplies the last time she’d visited. Children! Always doing annoying things like caring if you lived to be a grandmother.

I gave up on tobacco and pulled out my phone instead. I could at least try to get some other stress relief, like a stiff drink and a sympathetic ear to bitch directly into.

Working tonight? I texted to Alejandra. I need estrogen. And alcohol.

I glared at my email until I got the buzz of her response. just finishing up. stop by and I can guarantee both.

“Thank Christ,” I said as I texted back that I’d be there soon, and hailed a cab.


And Babies Make Four

by neomeruru (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/253231.html) Love1


Six Sundays in July


The first time I kissed Frank was the night Joe Cornish died.

I knew his was the finger on the other end of the button as soon as I heard the doorbell sound, so I dried my eyes and buzzed him right in. I heard him coming up the stairs to my fourth-floor rathole of a studio, each step weary and sodden, while the downpour outside echoed through the concrete stairwell. He rose into my view like a ship coming in over some far horizon, one dark, wet degree at a time, until he was there at my harbor in his tight brown pants and white summer sneakers, his moustache made sad by the rain.

“Joe,” I said, because there wasn’t anything else to say about it. Not even a year in, and we’d long passed the point of questions beyond ‘when’.

He put a hand to his face. “Jesus, I didn’t want you hearing from someone else.”


The Race

“Do you see that one in the black?” Simoen murmured in her ear, leaning past her to disguise his moving lips. “That’s Kes Kalumaria. Everybody says she killed her husband.”


The Eye of Nechemyyeh

121 And if a mother should bear two children in the same labor, then let it be known that the two are one flesh and one mind divided into two within the mother’s flesh;
122 and they will be granted surpassing powers over the invisible world, as in its division into two bodies their power will be honed, as though they were light and a lens.
123 And the birth of two from one womb will bring calamity on the People of the Book, for the gods themselves will envy their power, and desire to retrieve it to its source, and have the two for their possessions.
124 And so it is that of the two, one should be put to the sword in the year of their coming of age; so that the gods may be pleased with the offering and the People of the Book spared their judgment.
125 And when two are so born, the first to emerge from the mother will be called “the first known to the world,”
126 and the second will be called “the one who follows,” and be given the rights due to the eldest child. And let it be known that the second follows behind because he is the most beloved of the gods, and they have clung to him throughout his journey into the world, and not allowed him to come before the other.
127 Thus, to best please the gods, it is the second of the two who must be put to the sword;
128 and it is the first who will receive his share of the power of both in one, and become a prophet of great wisdom, who will surely lead the People of the Book to good fortune.


Hack and Slash

Brynn’s eyes idly tracked the wisps of fire in the chimney as they danced. He liked this: the warm light of a fire to keep any chills at bay, a room with walls that kept the wind and rain outside where it belonged, even a bed so that he could finally enjoy a solid night’s rest. That being said, he didn’t mind the nights spent on damp ground or hard floors, with a blanket to serve as his mattress and a coat the only thing to keep him warm, but he sure had a newfound appreciation for the comfort that a real mattress provided. Something soft to rest on while he enjoyed the loose feeling that had spread throughout his limbs after his bath—another luxury worth noting. There wasn’t much more he could think to add that would raise his feeling of overall contentment more than it currently….

Well, one thing maybe.


Ultimate Illusion

“Look, Briggs,” Shihaya says from inside the bridge, “I’m not asking for much.”

Kayla slows her steps, stopping just before the open door. With Romeo and the others away on their latest mission to acquire goddess-knows-what, they’ve been anchored two hundred feet up with nothing to do for three days. The prospect of anything’s happening, even if it’s Shihaya complaining, is too attractive to pass up.

“I mean, he says he loves me,” Shihaya says. “He says we’re destined to be together. And then he leaves me behind at every opportunity!” Her voice rises into a nasal whine. “‘Oh, Shnookums, you can come next time.’ But it never happens!”


The One With Giant Mechanical Spiders In

It all began one summer when–

No, that’s not precisely true, because it could all have been said to have begun years before, with my birth, or my uncle’s birth, or von Helmfried’s birth, or with the birth of whatever knightly fellow decided to clear away all the trees and deer and wolves and what-have-you and set some of his serfs–

–I think they were called serfs, unless I’m thinking of the sort of angel fellows, which isn’t the thing at all–

–to growing turnips and sheep and things on the land that would become known, for some reason, as Grauvghmare.


El Presidio Rides North

I was absolutely certain I was going to die, and it was because I’d wanted to wash my hands. The last thought that was going to go through my head was going to be that I could have lived a long and happy life if I’d just been satisfied with that bottle of hand sanitizer. And the worst part of it was that I’d die getting my hands dirtier, what with how the zombie I was trying to wrestle off of me was covered in dirt and that undefinable zombie sludge that they seemed to create. I’d hoped it wouldn’t end like this, in a Wendy’s bathroom, while I still needed to pee.


One False Move

“I want everyone to understand before we start that this is a friendly conversation,” said Clint, settling a yellow legal pad on his lap and pulling a pen from his shirt pocket. “Not an investigation, not an inquest, and definitely not on the record. Just a chance to get some things straight before any real shit-fan connection. We good with that?”

“Of course.” Dom nodded and folded his hands on his desk, just as he would any other day. “Mr. Rey?”

Eliot pushed his glasses up his nose and raised his chin just enough that Dom could see most of his face now; he hadn’t met Dom’s eyes this whole time, not even when they’d shook hands at the door and Dom had informed Clint that, yes, they were acquainted. “Friday, I found evidence that four young men in my sixth period English class had plagiarized a major paper. I gave the relevant information to Principal Harris, who supported my decision to give them failing grades on the assignment, which would have kept three of them from passing the class for the semester. Saturday evening, Cale Pitts — one of the young men — came to my home, requesting that I reconsider; I told him I’d speak with on school property, on school time. Monday, yesterday, I was called into her office before first bell and informed that I was being suspended pending an investigation. And now I’m here.”


Sweet to Tongue and Sound to Eye

Around three o’clockish on a Thursday in October, James Wellesley lay in an excellent specimen of a claw-footed Chatterham bathtub, where he slit his wrists and waited to die. Unfortunately, the desired cessation of existence was not so accommodating, and he was forced to climb out of the tub and don appropriate clothing when summoned for supper two hours later.



Twenty minutes in to American History class, Bethany Morrison poked him in the elbow and passed him over a folded up piece of notebook paper. He unfolded it and found, written in Liev’s familiar angular but neat scrawl, the words: “‘My name is Chris and I am a bitch.’ Check a box below to indicate true or false.” Beneath that were two boxes, both helpfully labeled ‘true.’ Chris looked over his shoulder to Liev, the next row over and two seats behind. Liev gave him a little ‘what’s up’ nod and smirked.

Chris gave him the finger from underneath his armpit, and took his pen to mark both boxes with big black X’s.


A Fish Story, OR, The Ones That Got Away, OR, The Mermaid Solution

So there I was. My wrists tied to my ankles, face-down on the matty carpet of what appeared to be an empty bedroom converted to big metal cages, listening to the occasional plink-plink of what sounded like the world’s loudest leaking faucet from the next room, and sharing my cage with what had until very recently been the person I disliked most in the entire world. I was thinking of bumping him from the title in favor of the person who had put me where I was now, see, but even then, I have to admit, it was going to be a close call.

“Oh, that’s nice. Really nice. You — ”

Shut up, Dan. I’m telling this.