girlie jones (girliejones) wrote,
girlie jones

2012 Sneak Peek: Soft Viscosity by David Conyers

David Conyers brings us one of the few stories in the collection not set in Australia. Here, he takes a very dark, very gritty, very gruesome look at the final days of nonrenewable resources. We don't really think we'll all play nice and just use up what we have and let other countries use up their own resources, do we? When the writing's on the wall, the greedy and powerful will get underhanded. Conyers brings us a futuristic twist on the quick and the dead in "Soft Viscosity" and its true depth of horror will creep up on you with its own soft viscosity.

1. Gloria

Dirty oil smeared the jungle underfoot, flooded from a ruptured pipeline, destroying the foliage. Not the first spill. Before this day the jungle had been recovering. Today it was dying again.

Eight Ecuadorian terrorists, on their knees with hands laced behind their heads, surrounded by the sticky fluid, were today’s catch. Ignored were fifteen of their comrades, bloody and oily black, gunned lifeless under the uncaring spray of fully-automatic assault rifles. Blood and hydrocarbons mixed, but never well.

Gloria McKenzie shook her head, disappointed by the scene. Her mind’s eye played greenie propaganda advertisements of penguins and seagulls obscured in shadowy sludge asking for donations. That was her today, her troop of US Marines, the dead and the prisoners. They were all raw and corrupted and with no charity for their woes. Oil theft was a dirty business on all sides.

“The terrorists showed, as you said they would, Ma’am,” offered Lieutenant Gridley, wiping unprocessed sludge from his eyes where it stung.
“Lieutenant,” Gloria snapped, “the CIA never makes mistakes.
Gridley raised an eyebrow.

Gloria shrugged. Her statement wasn’t particularly true, for the CIA had spent sixty plus years getting it spectacularly wrong. But she was in no mood to argue her quip with Gridley, not in the midst of a killing field. She was here to settle a score, win a goal for her side. The dead bodies and the captured insurgents should have been compensation enough to score that goal. So why did she remain cold inside?

Be among the first to read 2012 - still available for prepurchase at $20.

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