The department took away my canine partner, my badge, and my gun, but I’m still going to take down Talking Chicken. I leave my car by the highway and walk, baseball bat over my shoulder. I ignore the signs saying “Rainbow Farms employees only”.
The huge metal barn is the perfect place for Talking Chicken to hide out; I don’t know why I didn’t realize it before. I kick in the door, but don’t see the hundreds of chickens I was expecting — there are thousands of chickens.
I feel the blood pounding in my head, the amping up before any combat situation. I roar at the chickens, “You thought Colonel Sanders was bad? Get ready for ME!” Wading into the sea of poultry, I swing my bat left and right, left and right, sending birds and feathers flying. I swing until my arms are rubbery from exhaustion, but I’m still facing almost as many chickens as when I started.
The barn echoes with a thundering boom from behind me, and I spin to face an old lady holding a shotgun.
“Git away from my chikkins.”
I drop my bat and clap my hands over my ears, shrieking. “They’re talking! Can’t you hear them talking?”
Fixe by KC Norton A steampunk story with an underwater theme. There was some awkward wording at the beginning, but I either got used to it, or it ceased.
What the Blood Bog Takes by Barbara Barnett This human sacrifice story had some creepy elements, but the ending somehow left me unsatisfied.
I Was Her Monster by Jessi Jackson A lesbian schoolgirl is protected from a bigger lesbian by her guardian monster.
The Debugging of Martin Jarreau by Rahul Kanakia Everyone has a computer “life coach” in their head.
Intertwined by Kate O’Connor If taking LSD let you navigate a starship, this story would describe your experience.
The Topaz Marquise by Fran Wilde This story is described as “vintage”, although it’s from 2014. A jeweler buys a cursed gemstone.
Some nice men in white coats offer to let me crash at their place for a while. They promise there are no talking chickens there.
InterGalactic Medicine Show (often abbreviated IGMS) is an online/e-reader magazine only, and there are several issues (including the one I reviewed) available for free viewing. I chose to read issue 47 instead of the “sample” issue, because I was afraid the best stories had been picked for the sample, making it more equivalent to a ‘best of’ anthology than to the other magazines in my quest.
If you like what you read in the samples, IGMS is attractively priced: $15 gets you the next six issues, plus access to every previous issue in the history of the magazine. I will probably go back and read the other free issues at some point, but for now, IGMS is not the magazine to end my quest.