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The Longest Road in the Universe: A Collection of Fantastical Tales

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"D is for Duel/One Who Dies as a God Dies"

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Her name is Alejandra Maria Yaotl, and she is desperate to squat here, in this ribbon of grass between armies, to defecate. But her knees do not permit squatting, and she knows the desperation is only a great, killing mass in her bowels making demands of the failing body it consumes from the inside out, a little more every day. So she walks; strands of white hair blowing about her eyes, bent spine unable to straighten, papery hand gripping the rough wooden knob of a cane. The punishing sun shines down on a spill of engine oil, a pool of chlorophyll, a gob of intestine crushed into the soil. Behind, there is a shuttle with a weeping grandson at the helm who begged her to stay home and die in peace. Ahead, there are the towering gates of a city-state that teaches its people how to perform it, a grand theatre of violence caked in the blood of its sacrificial victims, the place where she will die one way or another.

An elderly woman dying of colon cancer challenges a cruel, transhuman demigod to a battle of wits for the sake of her people in "D is for Duel/One Who Dies as a God Dies." Available now in the D is for Dinosaur anthology.

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Random Quote

In an earlier stage of our development most human groups held to a tribal ethic. Members of the tribe were protected, but people of other tribes could be robbed or killed as one pleased. Gradually the circle of protection expanded, but as recently as 150 years ago we did not include blacks. So African human beings could be captured, shipped to America and sold. In Australia white settlers regarded Aborigines as a pest and hunted them down, much as kangaroos are hunted down today.

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