Yellow Mama Archives

Cornelius Fortune

Abbott, Patricia
Aclin, Ken
Alan, Jeff
Allen, M. G.
Allen, Nick
Allison, Shane
Andreopoulos, Elliott
Anick, Ronald
Anonymous 9
Ansani, Sarah
Arab, Bint
Arkell, Steven
Ashley, Jonathan
Ayris, Ian
Bagwell, Dennis
Baird, Meg
Baker, Bobby Steve
Baker, Nathan
Baltensperger, Peter
Barber, Shannon
Barnett, Brian
Bastard, Scurvy
Bates, Jack
Baugh, Darlene
Beck, Gary
Beck, George
Beckman, Paul
Beloin, Phil
Bennett, Eric
Berg, Carly
Bergland, Grant
Berman, Daniel
Berriozabal, Luis
Bigney, Tyler
Blair, Travis
Blake, Steven
Bolt, Andy
Bonehill, L. R.
Booth, Brenton
Boran, P. Keith
Bosworth, Mel
Bowen, Sean C.
Boyd, A. V.
Bradford, Ryan
Bradshaw, Bob
Brady, Dave
Brannigan, Tory
Brawn, Jason D.
Britt, Alan
Brock, Brandon K.
brook, j.
Brown, Melanie
Brown, R. Thomas
Bull, Warren
Burton, Michael
Butler, Janet
Butler, Terence
Cano, Valentina
Carlton, Bob
Cartwright, Steve
Carver, Marc
Castle, Chris
Catlin, Alan
Chen, Colleen
Chesler, Adam
Christensen, Jan
Christopher, J. B.
Clausen, Daniel
Clifton, Gary
Colasuonno, Alfonso
Compton, Sheldon Lee
Conley, Jen
Conley, Stephen
Coral, Jay
Corman-Roberts, Paul
Crandall, Rob
Cranmer, David
Criscuolo, Carla
Crisman, Robert
Crist, Kenneth
Crouch & Woods
Crumpton, J. C.
Cunningham, Stephen
Curry, A. R.
D., Jack
Dabbe, Lyla K.
Dallett, Cassandra
Damian, Josephine
Danoski, Joseph V.
Daly, Jim
Dalzell, Randy
Day, Holly
Deal, Chris
de Bruler, Connor
De France, Steve
De La Garza, Lela Marie
De Long, Aimee
de Marco, Guy Anthony
Dexter, Matthew
Di Chellis, Peter
Dick, Earl
Dick, Paul "Deadeye"
DiLorenzo, Ciro
Dionne, Ron
Doran, Phil
Doreski, William
Dorman, Roy
Draime, Doug
Drake, Lena Judith
Dromey, John H.
Duke, Jason
Dunn, Robin Wyatt
Dunwoody, David
Elias, Ramsey Mark
Elliott, Beverlyn L.
Elliott, Garnett
Ellis, Asher
Ellman, Neil
England, Kellie R.
England, Kristina
Erianne, John
Erlewine, David
Fallow, Jeff
Falo, William
Fedigan, William J.
Fenster, Timothy
Ferraro, Diana
Flanagan, Daniel N.
Flanagan, Ryan Quinn
Folz, Crystal
Fortune, Cornelius
Franceschina, Susan
Funk, Matthew C.
Gallik, Daniel
Gann, Alan
Gardner, Cheryl Ann
Genz, Brian
Gilbert, Colin
Gladeview, Lawrence
Glass, Donald
Goddard, L. B.
Godwin, Richard
Good, Howie
Goodman, Tina
Goss, Christopher
Gradowski, Janel
Grant, Christopher
Grant, Stewart
Grey, John
Grover, Michael
Gunn, Johnny
Gurney, Kenneth P.
Hagen, Andi
Hanna, J. T.
Hansen, Melissa
Hanson, Kip
Hardin, J. Scott
Harrington, Jim
Harris, Bruce
Hartman, Michelle
Haskins, Chad
Hatzialexandrou, Anjelica
Haycock, Brian
Hayes, A. J.
Hayes, John
Height, Diane
Heifetz, Justin
Heimler, Heidi
Heitz, Russ
Helmsley, Fiona
Hendry, Mark
Henry, Robert Louis
Hilary, Sarah
Hill, Richard
Hilson, J. Robert
Hivner, Christopher
Hobbs, R. J.
Hodges, Oliver
Hodgkinson, Marie
Hor, Emme
Houston, Jennifer
Howard, Peter
Howells, Ann
Hudson, Rick
Hunt, Jason
Huskey, Jason L.
Irwin, Daniel
Jacobson, E. J.
James, Christopher
James, Colin
Jensen, Steve
Johanson, Jacob
Johnson, Moctezuma
Jones, D. S.
Kabel, Dana
Kaplan, Barry Jay
Keaton, David James
Keith, Michael C.
Kempka, Hal
Kerins, Mike
Kerry, Vic
Kimball R. D.
King, Michelle Ann
Klim, Christopher
Knapp, Kristen Lee
Korpon, Nik
Kowalcyzk, Alec
Kuch, Terence
La Rosa, F. Michael
Lee, M.A.B.
Lees, Arlette
Lees, Lonni
LeJay, Brian K. Jr.
Lewis, Cynthia Ruth
Lifshin, Lyn
Lin, Jamie
Lopez, Aurelio Rico III
Lo Rocco, Brian
Loucks, Lindsey
Lovisi, Gary
Lynch, Nulty
Mac, David
MacArthur, Jodi
Macor, Iris
Madeleine, Julia
Major, Christopher
Malone, Joe
Manteufel, M. B.
Marlin, Brick
Marlowe, Jack T.
Martyn, Clive
Mason, Wayne
Massengill, David
McBride, Matthew
McCabe, Sinead
McDaris, Catfish
McLean, David
McQuiston, Rick
Memblatt, Bruce
Memi, Samantha
Merrigan, Court
Miller, Laurita
Mintz, Gwendolyn
Monaghan, Timothy P.
Monteferrante, Luigi
Monson, Mike
Moore, Katie
Morgan, Stephen
Moss, David Harry
Mullins, Ian
Mulvihill, Michael
Murdock, Franklin
Muslim, Kristine Ong
Nardolilli, Ben
Nazar, Rebecca
Nell, Dani
Nelson, Trevor
Newell, Ben
Newman, Paul
Nielsen, Ayaz
Nienaber, T. M.
Oliver, Maurice
Ortiz, Sergio
Parr, Rodger
Parrish, Rhonda
Penton, Jonathan
Perez, Juan M.
Perl, Puma
Perri, Gavin
Peterson, Rob
Peterson, Ross
Petroziello, Brian
Pettie, Jack
Picher, Gabrielle
Piech, JC
Pierce, Rob
Pletzers, Lee
Pluck, Thomas
Pohl, Stephen
Pointer, David
Polson, Aaron
Porder, D. C.
Power, Jed
Powers, M. P.
Price, David
Priest, Ryan
Purkis, Gordon
Radu, Kenneth
Ramos, Emma
Rapth, Sam
Ravindra, Rudy
Rawson, Keith
Ray, Paula
Reale, Michelle
reutter, g emil
Rhatigan, Chris
Ribas, Tom
Richey, Lunar
Ritchie, Bob
Roberts, Christian
Roberts, Paul C.
Robertson, Lee
Robinson, Kent
Rodgers, K. M.
Roger, Frank
Rogers, Stephen D.
Rohrbacher, Chad
Rosa, Basil
Rosenberger, Brian
Rosenblum, Mark
Rosmus, Cindy
Ross, Jefferson
Rowe, Brian
Rowley, Aaron
Ruhlman, Walter
Rutherford, Scotch
Saus, Steven M.
Savage, Jack
Sawyer, Mark
Sayles, Ryan
Schumejda, Rebecca
Scott, Craig
Scott, Jess C.
Scribner, Joshua
Seen, Calvin
Servis, Steven P.
Sever, Janet E.
Sexton, Rex
Seymour, J. E.
Sfarnas, John
Shafee, Fariel
Shaikh, Aftab Yusuf
Shannon, Donna
Shea, Kieran
Sim, Anton
Sin, Natalie L.
Slagle, Cutter
Slais, R. Jay
Slaviero, Susan
Sloan, Frank
Smith, Adam Francis
Smith, Ben
Smith, Copper
Smith, Daniel C.
Smith, Stephanie
Smith, Willie
Snoody, Elmore
So, Gerald
Solender, Michael J.
Sortwell, Pete
Sosnoski, Karen
Sparling, George
Speed, Allen
Spicer, David
Spires, Will
Spitzer, Mark
Spuler, Rick
Stephens, Ransom
Stickel, Anne
Straus, Todd
Stucchio, Chris
Stuckey, Cinnamon
Succre, Ray
Sullivan, Thomas
Swanson, Peter
Sweet, John
Thoburn, Leland
Thomas, C. T.
Thompson, John L.
Tivey, Lauren
Tobin, Tim
Todd, Jeffrey
Tolland, Timothry
Tomlinson, Brenton
Tomolillo, Bob
Valvis, James
Vilhotti, Jerry
Ward, Emma
Ward, Jared
Waters, Andrew
Weber, R.O.
Weir, G. Kenneth
White, Terry
White, J.
White, Robb
Williams, Alun
Willoughby, Megan
Wilsky, Jim
Wilson, Robley
Wilson, Scott
Wilson, Tabitha
Wright, David
Young, Scot
Yuan, Changming
Zafiro, Frank
Zapata, Angel
Zickgraf, Catherine
Zimmerman, Thomas
Znaidi, Ali

Art by Brian Beardsley

Information Whore


Cornelius Fortune





           In a bright gleaming chamber with silvery shapes

           gone streaking back and forth; delectable wires,

           loose-fitting, spread out and falling like hair from

           her shoulders: the snake-like overflowing, projecting

           wide-angled images onto her skin;

           (she's a living television screen…)

           grafted circuitry and wide bulbous insect-eyes staring

           at the world of metal and shapes and symbols she was

           immersed in; eyes taped open so that she would

           not sleep—the numbers and equations, statistics and

           cooking instructions playing across them in blurr-time,

           swift and unyielding


          She's plugged into the rageless city, pumping new blood

          into it night and day

          They lay with her and she opens herself to their gentle,

          sometimes cruel prodding


          (They whispered promises to her. . . .)


          "Soon." She heard the voice of the WebSuggestor in her

          mind—everything was in her mind now. She hadn't

          spoken in three years: it wouldn't have done any good

          anyway. The FLX cable had severed her voice box—

          "Soon we will choose another to replace you. You

          are keeping us alive."


          It was a technological whorehouse, where people

          jacked into their deepest, most forbidden fantasies;

          made requests for credit increases; purchased real

          estate; and large commercial conglomerates raged

          war games, with her as mediator. . . .


          The dead were strewn at her naked feet—her

          Predecessors in a pile of recycled waste, packed

          and cryogenically frozen until they found a

          technology that wouldn't wear out the host

          in five years, hoping to curb the onset of the

          mind overflowing with information and madness

          soon . . .  the thankful death; soon, the

          welcome silence;

          when the mind would be still, and she could      

          hear her own heartbeat in her ears, vomiting

          the black liquid that welled up in her breast

          from time to time that she held inside her

          and swallowed, the tube in her stomach

          pumping the bad stuff away


          She wanted to close her eyes, but couldn't. . . .


          Staring up at the strange

          breasts and suspended body, hanging messiah-like;

          a reflection of what and who'd she'd

          become by the age of twenty-five





      As a child, sitting in her class, one day long ago, the October radiance

      of pressed leaves shifting outside the window—over the recitation

      of the Pledge of Congruence— the deafness suddenly came to her, making her

      head hurt and her ears bleed; a piercing whine, spreading through her mind.

      She had, in that horrific moment, developed the potential for

       storing vast amounts of information; a sophisticated network of

       genetically superior neurons that caused her to be different now

       from the other  children.   She would be                                                                                                                                                                     

       given a new identity; she would sustain the city.

                           They took her away. . . .


       A few weeks into her training, a visual message was sent to her; a message

       that must have taken a great effort to send (she was not 

       to receive communications from the outside): It said, "Come home." Her mother's face, red and swollen, large on the screen.

        Her voice small and white in contrast, like cotton swabs dipped in alcohol. She said, "I have a map of the grounds. You can just walk away.

         You can escape and we can be together again, Emma, wouldn't you

         like to be with Mommy? Download the information so that Mommy

         can see you again. Do it now. Download the . . . please, Emma. Hurry . . .

          Her image vanished and Emma pressed her hand hard against the

          Screen, but it wouldn't download. She cried herself to sleep that night and resolved to plan an escape by morning on her own.


         Rising early and slipping into the transparent gown they provided her, she left out, boldly determined;


        Cold feet slapping the metal tile, turning and returning down repeating corridors, endless and not knowing which was the way


        OUT, and running until her little feet were tired and the soles of them were


         Cut and bleeding and pulsing with red heat.


          They found her lost and wet with tears and snot, exhausted and frustrated in the lower-ducts, afraid and wanting her mommy.



           In her bed again, tucked in by the supervisor, a tall woman

           With soft voice and purple eyes like flowers in rain water, her back framing the doorway as she left out, closing the door  behind her. When the footsteps faded, she threw the covers back, rubbing red eyes that still ran with warm tears—remaining hope— keying in the exit code frantically, but they had locked her in this time; they would not let her go. It said: ACCESS DENIED


      She sent a reply to her mother, but the message came back saying:





          And the large insect eyes . . . sweLLING on the wall, that said (--the Sound coming out without the lips moving—)


"You will one day be me, as I was once you: we are the same: Reciprocal.

I am mother, thy sustainer. Taste the umbilical cord of the rageless city. . . . ”



     And she drove the blue wire through the opening in Emma's skull        



        Yes, it was her destiny.

         She was special and special little girls were sent here

         to grow up and do special big things without questioning it. . . .


Where did men come, but by the womb of a mother?"





           She flexed her fingers

           And sent a missile attack

           to a far-off village and sentenced

           a man to death for the murder of

           his ex-wife and registered a new

           little girl, whose name was Hilda,

           that stared up at her now, in fear and wonder;

           her head freshly shaven, wincing from

           the sound the wires made;

           not knowing what to do, but to wait . . .

           The supervisor gently pushing her forward.

           "Go on . . ." she said. "It's okay."

            The blue wires whipping the air like a

            cobra's tail, as it made the first incision

             in her head, lifting her from the floor;

             the frail little girl suspended in the air;

             her eyes going back inside her head,

             turning white; then black; then opaque,

             like pools of undisturbed lacquer,

             calling for her mommy, as she lost

             consciousness . . .



             The flooding of her brain with wet information,

              and the first opening of insect-eyes, blinking

              like that of an infant seeing the world for the

              first time:




            In a bright gleaming chamber with silvery shapes

            Gone streaking back and forth in delectable ageless wires

            The welcome silence finally came to her:

            The images slowing their flow over her skin;

            The thankful death, cutting the transmission . . .





Cornelius Fortune is a journalist and the author of Stories from Arlington. His works have appeared in Nuvein, Tales of the Unanticipated, Dark Fire Fiction, Black Petals, and others. Visit his website at or e-mail him at

In Association with Fossil Publications