“Do you know anything about Cosmology?” Nero asks.

“I have read a few books.” Mr Soahc feels deflated. He feels sweat pooling in his armpits and thinks the person who sold him this shirt was lying when they swore it was quick-drying. The interview is turning out to be more work than he anticipated. Probably tougher than the job itself.

“That hardly constitutes experience. What do you know about the study of the Universe?” Nero waves a large hand in mid-air as if he’s swatting flies.

“Stage One calls for unrest.”

The interviewer regards him silently then reaches into the top drawer of the desk and pulls out a small manual. He ventures in a few pages then stops.

“Yes, Mr Soahc, unrest is listed here.” He sounds surprised.

“And the Second Stage. I can elaborate, if you like.”

“I’m listening,” Nero says, then places his elbows on the desk and leans forward.

Mr Soahc hears all of the information The Pecan had drilled into his head, stuff he never thought he was taking in, as it shoots like stars from his mouth. He gestures and shifts around in his chair. He can feel the shirt come completely untucked but no longer cares.

“And in the Final Stage,” he says finally, raising one thin eyebrow. “Liquidation.”

c2013 Deborah McMenamy

Excerpt from the story, ‘So Long Polyester’, published by Labello Press. The full short story collection can be purchased by visiting

Post-apocalyptic, mixed media necklace.



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