Maisy's Many Souls
by Matthew Sanborn Smith
"Drew Carey is a son of a bitch!" The speaker crackled from behind the glass door. Must have been culled from a dead fast-food joint. "A pretender to the throne!"
Antonio started recording and knocked. He and Desmond stood huddled together on the small deck outside of Maisy's side door. The deck fit a chaise lounge with fraying nylon straps, one ashy hibachi, and two grown men. In the reflection of the green opaqued door, Antonio saw Desmond behind him swing his arm out, thumb his little gold capture. Into his pocket it went, along with his hand. He didn't let it go much. Today he'd started swinging it like a sort of photographic cesta. Some other guys might have broken his nose after the fiftieth time he did that.
"What do you want?" came the speaker voice.
They looked at one another. "Jesus, was that her?" Antonio asked.
"I thought it was her computer," Desmond said.
"I'm looking for Maisy," Antonio shouted. "I've got something she might be interested in here." He had four small circuit boards, fanned like a poker hand. He held them up to the door.
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"Maisy's Many Souls" is roughly 7000 words.
Matthew Sanborn Smith's work has appeared in ChiZine, Albedo One, and the StarShipSofa podcast and will soon appear at Tor.com. He podcasts at bewarethehairymango.com. He thanks his dear friends Grant Stone and the late Mike Ramshaw for their valuable input during the writing of "Maisy's Many Souls".