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Pherobomb

Rich Larson was born in West Africa, has studied in Rhode Island and worked in Spain, and now writes from Ottawa, Canada. His short work has been featured on io9, translated into Chinese, Vietnamese, Polish, French, and Italian, and appears in numerous Year's Best anthologies along with most pro-paying SF markets. He was the most prolific author of short science fiction in 2015 and 2016. Find him at richwlarson.tumblr.com and support his writing via patreon.com/richlarson.
***Editor's Note: Adult Story. Adults Only, Please***
Shadrack stepped through the swatch of yellow police hologram, slapping on his filter mask.
"Thought you had a date," Barbier said.
"Still do, if we wrap up fast." A writhing red-faced victim floated past on a gurney. "This was a nasty one."
"Yeah. Valentine's always brings the chemset psychos out of the woodwork." Barbier jerked his head towards the back of the alley and the faint sound of grunting, moaning. "Everyone's in detox except two poor fuckers who got a full blast. One has a knife."
Shadrack followed his partner, adjusting the sleeve of his raincoat. The two victims had torn off their clothing and skinned themselves raw on the rough concrete. They scrabbled at each other, flushed and panting; one was fingering the other's ass.
"You're going to try take him away, know you are, but you can't..."
"Won't let you, can't let you take him, I love him, love you, won't let you..."
Shadrack checked the position of the victim's butterfly knife, then hit them both with the stunner from inside his coat sleeve.
"That works," Barbier said. "I'll start the chemanalysis. You should get back to Violet." He grimaced. "This job ever make you wonder about that shit? About if you really love who you love? All chemicals, one way or another."
Shadrack stiffened. "It's not the same thing."
But when he pictured Violet waiting for him, all he could see was the babbling victims intertwined. He thumbed her an apology: working late again.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

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