Blonde

Blonde, illustrated by Martin Hanford.“When did you go bald?”
Only Clarice would ask such a forthright question.
“Leave her alone,” Jake drains his beer. Only he would dare contradict his sister.
The clock hands have gone from late at night to early in the morning. Jake’s bar is empty of customers. The staff, who are sitting round the table, fall silent, intent on their drinks.
“It’s okay,” Rapunzel says. “I was sick and it all fell out.”
Her scalp is shiny, every follicle devoid of life. Nor does she have any eyebrows. Or hair elsewhere for that matter.
“What colour was it?”
“Blonde.”
There’s a pause, then laughter.
Jake nudges her. “You’re a joker after all.”
She knows what he thinks of her. That she’s vague and evasive and hasn’t a clue what’s going on most of the time.
“Lucky you’re beautiful enough to be bald,” he adds.
Rapunzel touches the nape of her neck where she feels most exposed and tries not to smile.

From my story, “Blonde”, Issue 260 of Interzone, now available from TTA Press.

Thanks to Andy Cox for including this story.

862_large[1]The September-October issue of Britain’s longest running science fiction and fantasy magazine contains new stories by John Shirley, Jeff Noon, Priya Sharma, C.A. Hawksmoor, Christien Gholson. The 2015 cover artist is Martin Hanford, and interior colour illustrations are by Richard Wagner, Dave Senecal, Martin Hanford, Warwick Fraser-Coombe. Features: Where O Where Has My Hugo Gone? by Ian Sales; Ansible Link by David Langford (news and obits); Mutant Popcorn by Nick Lowe (film reviews); Laser Fodder by Tony Lee (DVD/Blu-ray reviews); Book Zone (book reviews); Jonathan McCalmont’s Future Interrupted (comment); Nina Allan’s Time Pieces (comment); and Shaun Green interviews Becky Chambers.

857[1] 856_large[1] 855_large[1] Interzone 260

 

 

 

 

Interzone’s sister magazine, Black Static is also out at the same time, and it promises to be a great issue with the line-up listed below.

Black Static 48The September-October issue contains new novelettes and short stories by Jeffrey Thomas, Cate Gardner, Steven J. Dines, Andrew Hook, and Stephen Bacon. The cover art is by Martin Hanford, and interior illustrations are by Joachim Luetke, Tara Bush, and Richard Wagner. Features: Coffinmaker’s Blues by Stephen Volk (comment); Notes From the Borderland by Lynda E. Rucker (comment); Case Notes by Peter Tennant (book reviews and an interview with Simon Kurt Unsworth); Blood Spectrum by Tony Lee (DVD/Blu-ray reviews).

 

864_large[1] Black Static 48 867_large[1] 866_large[1] 865_large[1]

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Blonde

  1. Xavier says:

    That was a stunning story! I’m usually wary of fairy-tale-inspired short fiction, as they’re almost inevitably too literal or gimmicky. Not here. I love the delicate dance Blonde performs around its source material, always in movement, drawing neared then further, then nearer again. This is my first issue of Interzone and I probably couldn’t start my subscription with a better one.

    • Thank you so much, Xavier, for your kind comments while have put a massive smile on my face. I am so glad you liked it.
      I am an Interzone and Black Static subscriber too, as I think Andy Cox always chooses interesting and sometimes challenging fiction.
      All the best,
      Priya

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