“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?”
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.
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.
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.
The 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).