"Roadkill Joe" @ AE Science Fiction


"Roadkill Joe is a very old soul—Can't die cuz he's a freak!"

Barry watched from his perch on the barbershop's torn swivel chair as gas-masked children chanted and hopscotched through the ashes of an abandoned street. He longed to join them. His mother cussed behind him as she fumbled with the electric clippers.

"Hold still now. Can't let none of them creepy-crawlies lay their eggs on you, boy."

Barry nodded. The clippers buzzed over his left ear as Momma pinched it down out of the way. "Who's Roadkill Joe?" he asked.

I'm so glad you asked, young Barry. Roadkill Joe happens to be one of my new recurring characters making his debut appearance at AE Science Fiction this week, and you can read the rest of his first tale here, if you're so inclined.

Joe's the reluctant hero type, but deep down he knows it's up to him to save the day in a world ravaged by monstrous aliens ("Horrors" in the locals' vernacular). But why roadkill? Does it have something to do with his diet? Well, you'll just have to read on to find out.

This story survived 10 rejections over the past year before finding a great place to call home. "Roadkill Joe" was my Write1Sub1 from week #39 last year, and I was planning to send it along the semi-pro circuit after exhausting my list of pro-paying zines. Then, on a whim, I sent it off to AE Science Fiction. I'm SO glad I did.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Believe in yourself. Believe in your work.

Cool stuff will happen.