Bride

The van comes for me at the usual time. I imagine myself as the driver must see me, a doll with matching parts, standing in front of buildings that are coated with red sand. I pull my coat around me but the cold wind climbs under and up my bare legs. I am wearing the…

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The Pirate's Booty

The engineer stumbled into the cargo hold and dropped his bags like they were made of lead. At the moment, he couldn’t think of any place in the galaxy where he’d rather be. Not that that was a surprise. His pilot wandered into the hold wearing underwear, a bra, and a…

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Expiration Date

Seamus dipped the greasy piece of bread into the even greasier layer of oil in his plate. “Mm. It seems so much easier when you know your own sin, doesn’t it?” Carol hadn’t touched her food; her lust for love blinded her, but only to a point. She watched the…

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Behave

“You really shouldn’t write so much,” the boy said. He perched on the edge of an orange subway chair and jumped off as the train screeched to a halt, catching himself on the handrail and spinning around. “If I didn’t write so much, you wouldn’t be here,” the woman…

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The Sharp and Terrible Morning

After a night of drinking, following the uncontrolled sleep of total blackness, there comes for humans a level of morning sobriety that is so clear it is painful. The white light of morning truth shines through to the black recesses of the human brain, and suddenly,…

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Hoist That Rag

“New life!” came the call throughout “God’s Hammer,” from starboard to port, from aft to fore. It echoed through the corridors and ricocheted off the trophy skulls that decorated them. The men and women who crewed “God’s Hammer” sharpened their knives and painted…

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Kaleidoscope

TURN THE SCOPE. Earth-124. Subject: Davis, Conner. Occupation: Car Salesman. It was an ordinary day of waking up, drinking coffee, and making his way to the lot again but Conner was glad that every day had its predictability. New Fords meant New Mustangs with all…

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Wanted

“‘Wanted: Breast donors. 34 C or D cup, O negative or AB, Caucasian. Non-smokers preferred. $500 USD plus expenses. Absolutely NO BINDING.’ What the hell is this?” Ryan waved the classified ads in Race’s face. “Donors for plastic surgery? How much demand…

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Steganography

The feeds are not for the news. The feeds are the distraction, the feeds are the facade. The news is contained within them, invisible to the naked eye, downloading itself as cookies, slipped into meta tags. Sometimes, Anna wondered who controlled the news, who encoded…

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Left

The girl with the tangled hair sat on the cliff face overlooking the ocean, and dangled her feet into the expanse. A ragged doll made of socks and cast-offs sat beside her. Every so often, the girl would adjust the doll’s slumping posture. She saw the man’s strange…

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Gold Fish

When Goldie opened her eyes and saw the colorful fish swimming outside the curved window, she screamed, loud and high. The big Ohma waddled over and picked her up in its fuzzy, globular arms, hugging the little girl close to its warm soft body. Goldie shoved the Ohma…

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Legend of the Candy Cane

No one is sure where it came from. The old books with paper pages will tell you that it came from Cologne Cathedral, but I’m not so sure anymore. I imagine it comes out of the woodwork when trouble starts and times are dark. It’s time for the holidays again, but…

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Transformation

Me? Oh, I’ve always known. I mean, not that I knew what it meant, but I’ve felt this way since I was a child. It wasn’t something that came out of nowhere, you know? But yes. When I went to high school, that was when I really had problems. I remember hiding in the…

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Escravo

The picture made the cover of the Tzarin colony newsletter: a petite, blond-haired girl kneeling in the center of a flock of hibernating escravo, her arms wrapped around her skinny stomach and her face contorted by sobs. It was a powerful image, this preteen runaway…

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In A Nest Of Ice And Snow

Hongping watched a small child flounce across the glacier floor. The furry grey snowsuit the child was sealed into kept it from going faster than a clumsy amble, but it didn’t seem to mind. It was charging toward a huddle of summarily swaddled children. Waving its…

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Thirteen

Herring rushed down the wet road toward the dock. Thirteen minutes till the grid went live. Thirteen, an unlucky number. Herring thought about knocking on one of the doors in the first class residential district, pretending to be a businessman trapped by his late…

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Digicide

It’s tough to tell when someone disappears. You always just figure they’re busy at work, or studying for finals, or on vacation, or something of the sort, so none of us thought anything was strange when we didn’t see Nodek for a while. Actually, to be brutally honest,…

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Pile Of Dead Things

The surprise was ready. Melanie had worked hard to ensure that this November would be the most wondrous time that her daughter, Fawn, had ever experienced. She’d made all the right calls and had the work done in a forest around their estate. As the workers departed,…

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