Perihelion Science Fiction

Sam Bellotto Jr.

Eric M. Jones
Associate Editor


Peace Bug
by Stephen L. Antczak

Shipping Error
by Robert Dawson

In the Garden With the Little Eaters
by L Chan

Species of Revenge
by Lance J. Mushung

To Live if it Kills Me
by Andrew Darlington

Freddy Norberg’s Fantastic Flight
by Finry

Death Egg
by Kim Daniels

by Sean Monaghan

Shorter Stories

Love in the Time of Alien Invasion
by Samuel Marzioli

They Call Me Wizard
by Robert Lowell Russell

Reverse Logic
by Sierra July


Let’s Fry Chicken Little
by Carol Kean

UFOs and Rockets
by Preston Dennett



Comic Strips





They Call Me Wizard

By Robert Lowell Russell

PIGEONS FELT THE KNOCKS FIRST. Scientists said it was because of the birds’ sensitivity to electromagnetic fields or something, but I don’t think they had a clue.

The first Knock came one Saturday afternoon in Ohio. A flock of pigeons swooped over a baseball diamond, startling Danny Simms as he hurled a fastball high and inside. People watching the game saw the ball, saw the pigeons, then saw two balls. In one blink of reality, Kerri Higgs popped out to the shortstop. Game over. The next blink she laced the ball over the leftfield wall for a walk-off homer, leaving the shortstop staring at an empty glove.

Kerri and her team went off with her deputy sheriff dad to enjoy victory pizzas instead of consolation tacos. Two slices and a root beer later, Kerri’s dad took his MagLite out to the parking lot to smash a few taillights. If deputy dad had been trying to make his monthly ticket quota at Casa de Tacos instead of Big Ed’s Pizza, he never would have spotted Jim Darby’s Cadillac full of guns and pipe-bombs. Thanks to those pigeons, Darby and his Caddy never made it to the county mall and twenty-three people didn’t die, though some would complain later of lingering memories of terror and pain from events never experienced.

One coincidence was followed by others.

Mary Wild, amateur pilot, banked her twin-engine Cessna to avoid a flock of pigeons and didn’t slam nose first into a 747 screaming in for an emergency landing at her tiny regional airport. Because of pigeons, one hundred and eighty-seven people, none of whom would ever set foot on a plane again, got to keep on breathing.

Coincidences became patterns. People took notice.

After yet another disaster averted, weather reporter extraordinaire, Linda “Hail-if-I-know” Smithfield spotted unidentified energy particles on her Doppler radar. People with Ph.D.s talked to other people with Ph.D.s and decided the unknown particles were remnants of explosions from somewhere else. The energies needed to force the particles into our reality were enormous, the equivalent of hundreds of megatons of TNT.

Violent acts in a separate reality were averting tragedies in our own. It was like big “G” or little “g” god, whichever you prefer, was knocking on the glass, telling us to, “Watch out!”

As the warnings became the norm, the energies of the Knocks decreased, because whoever was sending the warnings finally realized they’d got our attention. And that’s when those nice folks from somewhere else stopped shouting and started talking to us instead. We learned to communicate with them using a kind of Morse code.

They told us when the Big Bang happened, our universe zigged and theirs zagged, but the two never fully separated. Our realities were stuck together like a pair of soap bubbles, and the walls between the two were growing thinner, fast. The Knocks were the other side’s way of letting us know they’d help out when our reality rejoined theirs, because apparently theirs ain’t all giggles and puppies.

Arthur Clarke once wrote: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Well, apparently there isn’t much in the way of technology on the other side, but they do have boatloads of energy that the ignorant call magic, the same dark energy stuff the eggheads are always going on about, a force influencing our universe even if it doesn’t really exist here ... yet.

As the walls between our two realities grew thinner and thinner, things started getting interesting.

Stacie Young wanted a pony for her sixth birthday more than anything in the world. She begged and pleaded with her parents, but the big meanies said no. Always independent, Stacie simply went and found her own pet. Picking at a fracture in reality no one else could see, she pushed aside time-space, easy as you please, and into our universe stepped her own personal unicorn.

Stacie’s parents were surprised. Stacie’s dog Bones was very surprised—turned out unicorns were carnivores. But Stacie wasn’t surprised at all. Ever since the Knocks started, she saw the fractures everywhere and heard all kinds of wonderful animals snuffling and snorting on the other side.

They call her Summoner.

Martin “Tin Can” Knapp found that pennies a pound for metal scrap wasn’t enough to keep his flask full, so one day Martin shifted a few protons here, added few neutrons there, and tossed in a sprinkle of electrons for luck, quite literally, changing his fortune. Gold soda cans bought Martin “Midas” Knapp his first gin joint, where every hour was happy hour.

They call him Alchemist.

I never much cared for the rules of our universe—lord knows I broke my share of them

The first day I realized I could manipulate the energy coming from the other side, I flew. I told gravity, “Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll take it from here.”

For me, changing one kind of energy into another is as easy as breathing. I can turn kinetic energy into thermal, converting a gentle breeze into a wall of flames. I can change a shout into blinding light, or make punch to the head into a bigger, badder punch.

The change is coming, and there’s nothing in this world or the other that can stop it.

I know you’re worried about packs of unicorns chewing on Rover, Ms. Kitty, or your dear old granny, but I say bring ’em on. Dragons? I’ll turn their flames into hurricanes and scatter them like leaves.

I know you’re scared, but know that I’ve got your back. It’s going to be okay. This hero thing is starting to grow on me.

You can call me Wizard. END

Robert Lowell Russell is a SFWA member and a member of the Writeshop and Codex writers’ groups. His stories have appeared in “Penumbra,” “Daily Science Fiction,” “Stupefying Stories,” and other places. He is currently pursuing a nursing degree.




J richard jacobs