A Monkey Will Never Get Rid of Its Black Hands
By Rachel Swirsky
Papa and Uncle Fomba told me if I didn’t join the army, they’d kill me. They didn’t. They cut off my hands.
This was after U.S. forces marched on Syria, but before we invaded Lebanon. On every city block, posters of Uncle Sam entreated every Tom, Duc, and Haroun to get blown up in the name of freedom. Papa and Fomba gave me two weeks to enlist. I ran for Canada instead. They caught me.
About the Author
Rachel Swirsky was a founding editor of PodCastle, along with Ann Leckie.
Rachel’s short stories have appeared in Tor, Subterranean Magazine, and Clarkesworld, and been reprinted in year’s best anthologies edited by Strahan, Horton, Dozois, and the VanderMeers. She holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop, and graduated from Clarion West in 2005.
Her short fiction has been nominated for the Hugo Award, the Locus Award, the World Fantasy Award, and the Sturgeon Award. She’s twice won the Nebula Award, in 2010 for her novella, The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen’s Window and in 2014 for her short story, If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love.
About the Narrator
Alasdair Stuart was briefly employed as a circus geek until an unfortunate mix-up involving a prize-winning fighting cock. Its owner had ties not only to the carnival, but also to the Russian mob, so now he writes supplements for role playing games, where he exercises his superpower to make you appreciate the Sixth Doctor. He has played for the national rugby team after defeating the monstrous four-horned sheep across his home island. He is the Supreme Mugwump, Keeper of the Big Red Button, a regular contributor to Tor.com, and he owns a bunch of awesome podcasts.