Perihelion Science Fiction

Sam Bellotto Jr.

Eric M. Jones
Contributing Editor


Quarantine Summer
by Rebecca Birch

Calling Time on Candy
by Mark Patrick Lynch

Revenge in Shanty Town
by Seth W. Kennedy

A Boy’s Apocalypse
by Eric Del Carlo

How to Be a Foreigner
by Karen Heuler

Could They But Speak
by David Steffen

Bob’s Day Out
by Mark Bondurant

Everybody Comes to Rick’s
by Tim McDaniel

Equations in the Mirror
by Therese Arkenberg

by R.W. Warwick


If We Find ET What Will ET Be?
by J. Richard Jacobs

Regarding Fermi’s Paradox
by Eric M. Jones




Shorter Stories

Comic Strips





By R.W. Warwick

“I CUT MY DAMN CHEEK SHAVING and now it won’t stop bleeding. If I’m a danger to people, why did you let me shave myself?”

Floyd sat drooped forward in a chair opposite his therapist’s grand desk, dabbing his cheek with a tissue. “I don’t remember exactly how I got here, but I know what happened to me. I know it was that woman.”

He sighed. “I remember locking the shop up at the end of my shift last Tuesday, because instead of going straight home up the Kings Road, I stopped at Martin’s Booze first. I was gonna get a bottle of gin on my way home and lock myself indoors until Monday. But before I got there, this woman rushed me and started mouthing off like a bloody nutter. She calmed down and said her name was Andrea, my ex-wife. She also said that I screwed her over and that this was my punishment. I honestly didn’t have a clue who she was. When I asked her to prove it she flipped out again.” Floyd suddenly became very animated; he raised his arms as he spoke.

“She pulled out this chunk of wood from behind her back and cracked me over the head with it. When I woke up, god knows how long later, I noticed that she’d taken my wallet, my shoes and my bloody socks. Who takes your socks?” Floyd stood up, circled his chair, rubbed his face with both hands, and sat back down again. “I knew it was gonna be a bad night because the sky was a purple colour when I woke up. What does that mean?”

The man opposite replied, “Well, you know what they say ...”

Floyd trailed off. “No, I don’t. What does a purple sky mean?.”

“Well, it means something ... uh, you know that ... uh, unnatural goings-on, somewhere.”

“Huh, I’ve never heard that before. Where did you hear it?”

“Oh, I don’t know it’s just one of those sayings” he dismissed it.

“Anyway,” Floyd continued “I got home about ten and called the police. They came over about an hour later and wrote everything down and then left without helping at all. You know the rest until now.” Floyd crossed his arms and sat rigid in the chair.

“Tell me your version of the rest” he said. He looked down at a notepad on his lap and then peered over his glasses at Floyd.

“Yes, Bob! Well, like I said you probably know, but fine. For four weeks I called the police, seventeen times in all, to find out what was going on, but nothing. All the while I was trying to get through to Andrea.”

“Why were you trying to reach her?” Bob asked.

“Isn’t it obvious? I had to check to see if it was her or not. But every time I called, the line went dead. I didn’t really try that many times. The last time I called the police, they sent someone round again; actually it was a few guys. They came and took me away. Hell if I know why. That’s it, until the gap.”

“What do you mean?” Bob questioned.

“Well I know they did something to me, because there’s a gap in my memory between then and now. I remember the four policemen practically breaking my door down, I tried to calm them, but they weren’t having any of it. They dragged me in to their car and off to the station. They must have done something to me then because I don’t remember what happened after I got to the station, until I woke up here, yesterday.”

“Do you know where you are, Floyd?” Bob asked.

Floyd scoffed. “I’m a bit on edge, but I’m not nuts. I know where I am and I think I’m completely in the wrong place, completely.”

“You said ...” Bob hesitated.

“What?” Floyd asked.

“You said completely twice” replied Bob.

“No I didn’t” replied Floyd.

“Yes you— Never mind. Why do you think you’re in the wrong place?”

“Well I‘m in a nut house and I’m not that far gone.”

“And how do you know how far gone you are?” Floyd stared thoughtfully at a glass sphere on the desk.

“I need to confirm one way or the other, whether I have woken up in the correct timeline or not.”

Bob leaned forward, his interest piqued “Correct timeline? What do you mean by that?” he asked.

“Between when I arrived at the police station and when I woke up here, I think something was done to me to alter my state of consciousness. After long thought, I narrowed it down to one of two things. Either there was an attempt to shift me again to a reality further away from my own without me realising, which ultimately failed. Or I was pushed further toward Pangaea.” Floyd nodded at his own response. “Which I think is what has happened. Do you have a map?”

“What is Pangaea?” Bob asked.

Floyd scoffed again. He glared at Bob in disbelief. “Really? Ok, I’ll go through it once, and that’s it. In essence, it’s the eventual re-merger of the species. Roughly three hundred million years ago, all land on Earth was a single supercontinent we call Pangaea. Then about a hundred million years later it started to break apart until it formed the seven continents we know today. There are thousands of us who believe that the continents are shifting back into Pangaea again, which will force the species together on a single land mass.” Floyd looked over his shoulder and rubbed his arms.

“Something wrong Floyd?” Bob asked.

“No its, my, my skin is tingling. It only happens when ... uh ...”

“The door is locked, Floyd, no one’s getting in unless we let them in. What were you going to say?”

“Ok, uh ... the world as I know it is a pretty nasty place. I’ll just say that we made a mess of things. Have you heard of utopia?”

“Of course” he replied.

“Pangaea is the closest thing we have, realistically. Some people understand it, and some actively work to stop it. But it’s coming, regardless. I believe I was apprehended by a group of officers who operate between realities, a kind of Alternate-Reality-Border-Police-Force. I don’t know if they have a proper name. They work against people like me who actively promote the transition towards Pangaea, by pushing us into realities that are further away from our own and, well ... Pangaea. I don’t know how they push us between realities. I’m not a scientist. But I don’t think they follow. Each place I go has different ones. I did take something which I was told messes up the transfer, in case they ever tried to move me against my—” Floyd paused, his face eyes widened for a moment. “I don’t feel comfortable saying anymore!” Floyd rubbed both of his arms. The hairs on them stood up.

He glared over his shoulder at the door again, expecting someone to march through and drag him off. When no one came, he turned back to Bob. “Needless to say, they tried to push me somewhere, but they failed. Obviously, I’ve appeared somewhere else. I just need to find out where. Everything is so familiar, but I’ve seen subtle differences, so I know I’m not where I should be. So, the ... uh ... map?”

“What do you need a map for?” Bob asked.

“Well, I have a rough idea of what Pangaea looks like. If I saw a map, I could see what this world looks like. I’ll be able to tell how close I am.”

Bob opened one of his desk drawers and took out a large book. He placed it on his lap and looked at Floyd. “Floyd, I have to tell you something. You’ve been staying with us here at the Magdalene Psychiatric Institute for eleven months. Before that, you were arrested for assaulting your wife Andrea. You almost killed her. I can see that there is some accuracy in your version of events. But you have added this science fiction fantasy to hide from the reality. You need to acknowledge that before you can begin to heal.”

Floyd’s eyes widened as he shifted uncomfortably in his chair. If Bob was telling the truth, as he saw it, he would have real difficulty getting home.

Bob opened the book. “Floyd, I want to try an exercise. I have a map of the world in front of me. I’m going to show it to you, but I want you to promise that you will at least consider that what I’m saying might be the case if you don’t see what you describe.”

Floyd felt a draft behind him but he didn’t look over his shoulder this time. His attention was caught. He nodded. Bob lifted the book up to Floyd. Across a double-page spread was a map of the world, with two huge continents. Floyd smiled. In his peripheral vision, he saw Bob glance at something behind him, just for a second. Bob’s eyes were cold and focussed, but Floyd caught it. “I’m holding you responsible for what comes next,” said Floyd. END

R.W. Warwick has been an associate editor for the horror fiction quarterly magazine “Dark Moon Digest.” He is also the author of “No Exit,” a collection of 13 short horror stories. He lives in London, England, and now writes exclusively science fiction.