Mighty Mouth

By Tony Owens

sfgenre‘I’m afraid it’s just not going to work,’ said Vassali, the circus strong man.

Klinko, the King of Klowns could only nod in agreement. All day he and Vassali, had been watching various acts audition for Hernandez’s Circus of Terror. This last candidate had been their best hope, but it was not to be. They made their way down from the back row of the big top seating. In the centre ring, a mouse held an elephant aloft with one tiny paw.

‘I thought my act most impressive. What has failed to please you?’ squeaked the mouse.

‘The act in and of itself is astounding,’ said Vassalli.

‘The problem is that you’re so small, nobody is going to see you from the grandstand,’ said Klinko. ‘We can see the pachyderm alright, but not who’s lifted him.’

The mouse sighed and gently placed the elephant back on terra firma. ‘I understand gentlemen.’

Jumbo gave a quizzical snort and wandered off.

‘How did you develop such strength?’ asked Vassalli.

‘A combination of diet, supplements, and weight training Not to mention the supreme power of the will,’ said the mouse, puffing up her miniscule chest with pride.

‘Well, we’re sorry it didn’t work out. What will you do now?’ asked Klinko.

‘It’s no big deal really. I was just looking for a little supplementary income while I finish my PhD.’

‘What are you studying?’

‘Rene Descartes. My topic is Cartesian Dualism and the Rodent Psyche.’

The two men exchanged a glance. ‘Interesting. Well, good luck with that.’

‘Well, it’s been a pleasure to meet you both, but I have a bus to catch at five p.m.,’ said the mouse.

Both men squatted down and shook the rodent’s paw. Klinko noted it was quite a firm handshake.

With a jaunty salute, the mouse headed outside the tent.

Vassalli wiped the sweat from his brow. ‘It’s been a pretty useless day, all in all. Shame we couldn’t use the mouse.’

***

Later that afternoon the Bearded Lady walked in, looking perplexed. ‘Well, if that don’t beat all,’ she exclaimed.

‘What’s that?’ asked Klinko.

‘I had the most extraordinary experience earlier. A conversation with a talking mouse,’ she said. ‘Can you believe it? A mouse with the power of speech!’

For a second there was silence. Vassalli looked at Klinko. Klinko looked at Vassalli.

‘Ooops,’ said Klinko.

‘It’s twenty to five now. If we’re quick we can catch her before she gets on that bus,’ said Vassalli.

The two men bolted from the tent leaving the Bearded Lady in bemused solitude. ‘That mouse might be a graduate student,’ she muttered, ‘but she’s got totally the wrong idea about Rene Descartes. She should read some Kierkegaard.’

She stopped for a second and chuckled, despite herself. ‘That’s just crazy. A mouse that can read. Who ever heard of such a thing?’

rocket crux 2 75

About The Author

Tony Owens

Tony Owens is an ESL teacher living in Brisbane with his wife and son.  His short fiction has appeared in the anthologies In Fabula-Divino, Zombies Ain’t Funny, and 18. He also does a flash fiction series chronicling the adventures of the long-suffering Klinko, the King of Klowns, which appears semi-regularly on the AntipodeanSF website.  His ultimate ambition is to find the literary sweet-spot between H.P. Lovecraft and P.G. Wodehouse.

aus25grn

AntiSF & The ASFF

AntipodeanSF supports the ASFF

asff img

Please visit the ASFF website and consider joining for up-to-date info about Australian SF cons, awards, competitions, and to receive the Foundation's newsletter, Instrumentality, and more.

<http://asff.org.au>

Download AntiSF E-Book

Epub version: 

Kindle version: 

The AntipodeanSF Radio Show

In The Next Issue...

Coming In Issue 233

Asset Class
by Matthew Harrison

Build Blast
By Douglas J. Ogurek

Home Hardware & Rentals
By Zebuline Carter

Iron Will
By David Whitaker

Neoanderthals
By Darren Lipnicki

The Drop Out
By David Scholes

The Maiming Fields
By Kevin J. Phyland

The Numbers Danced
By Laurie Bell

This Page Unintentionally Left Blank
By Wesley Parish

Totally AI
By Kevin J. Phyland

Get Dimension 6

D6sidebar

Get Dimension 6 Speculative Fiction

From Coeur De Lion Publishing

Here at AntiSF
Download D6 Now!

"Trust me, you want this free speculative fiction e-zine."
(Rob Hood)

AntipodeanSF November 2017

ISSUE 232

Speculative Fiction
Downside-Up
ISSN 1442-0686

Online Since Feb 1998

rocket crux 2 75

SF News

SF News

SCIENCE FICTION: A POSITIVE SOCIAL INFLUENCE

Take a listen to Dr. Alan Finkel, Australia’s chief scientist on Radio National’s “Big Ideas” with Paul Barclay, who sums up Finkel’s speech in the following way:

“Our future leaders and policy makers should read more science fiction…scifi can be useful for the building of a good society.”

You can find the program audio here: <http://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pgM7rLEl26>, originally broadcast on ABC Radio National on Tuesday September 19 2017.

***

Upcoming Aussie Cons

Sydney Freecon 2017
Free Entry SF&F / speculative fiction event. November 3, 4 and 5, 2017. A weekend about the ideas found in SF&F, including a short story competition. More information: <https://www.facebook.com/sydneyfreecons> or contact Garry at <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>.

Genrecon 2017
State Library of QLD 10-12 November 2017. More information <https://www.awmonline.com.au/genrecon/getting-involved-in-genrecon/>.

Swancon 2018 (NatCon)
Transmogrification. Pan Pacific Hotel, Perth. (Easter) 29 March to 02 April 2018. Guests: Kameron Hurley, Ryan Griffen, Barb de la Hunty. More information: <https://swancon.com.au/>.

Continuum XIV: Conjugation. Melbourne’s SF Convention. 8th – 11th June, 2018. More information: <http://www.continuum.org.au/>.

Nullus Anxietas VII - The Australian Discworld Convention - will be held in Melbourne on April 12-14, 2019, and is themed on Going Postal. More information: <https://ausdwcon.org/>.

For more up-to-date Aussie SF info join the ASFF: <asff.org.au>

AntiSF will be at Swancon (2018).

The AntipodeanSF Radio Show

AntiSF Radio Show

antipod-show-50The AntipodeanSF Radio Show delivers audio from the pages of this magazine.

The weekly program features the stories from recently published issues, usually narrated by the authors themselves.

Listen to the latest episode now:

The AntipodeanSF Radio Show is also broadcast on community radio, 2NVR, 105.9FM every Saturday evening at 8:30pm.

You can find every broadcast episode online here: http://antisf.libsyn.com 

S5 Box

Login Form

S5 Register

You need to enable user registration from User Manager/Options in the backend of Joomla before this module will activate.

SF Quote

...today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups...So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms...it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.

Philip K. Dick