Charming

Author : Russell Bert Waters Road-weary we pulled in and parked outside the motel office. This was our first time in the North East, and we weren’t even sure exactly where we were. Somewhere outside Maine, I think. I looked out at the horizon, and it lit up twice,…

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What We Leave Behind

Author : J.D. Rice My hand shakes as I desperately try to keep myself from pulling the trigger. I stare at the man who wears my husband’s face, my eyes filled with tears. He looks hurt. Concerned. Maybe even betrayed. So convincing. “Sarah, put the gun down. Please,…

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The Ultimate Test

Author : Beck Dacus The week was ending. I was typing up my summary report, excited to enter the weekend and chill at the house with my girlfriend for a couple days. My spreadsheet was half-done when Bertin came up to my desk and “checked on me.” “How’s it going?” he…

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Bow Skills

Author : Philip Berry My music teacher, Miss Herenka, gesticulated through the blue-tinged, sound-proofed glass. I watched her thin hands glide. Her voice came down from speakers in the circular ceiling of my training cell. “Jenna come on! It’s not enough to go…

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Elegy for the Human Race

Author : Riley S Meachem I passed a filling station the other day. It was covered in some sort of vine, kudzu maybe, and the roads were cracked, so no cars could get through. (Hey, remember cars? They used to be everywhere!) I stepped cautiously over bleached bones,…

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The Box Adjacent

Author : DL Shirey I pound shots of espresso until my vision tinges brown as a sepia tint. The tip of my fat finger barely touches the skin of my thumb through the hole in the handle of the tiny cup, small and fragile like half an eggshell, yet it nests another stiff…

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The Distances Involved

Author : Kenny A Chaffin “What is it you would want to know?” the synthesized voice asked. Johnson scanned the cryptic and stonewall faces assembled around him and the computer screen before typing. “Who are you? Where are you from? How do we know this is not some…

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It’s a Dad Thing

Author : Edwin Tam “How will you do it with incomplete memory transfer from the subject?” “We have cultural references on file: I’ll fill in the gaps.” “But you’re supposed to infiltrate and integrate: there’ll be an offspring in the house. “ “Right, four feet tall…

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The Long Game

Author : Travis Gregg “Goddamit Steve, will you hold the ladder?” Darius yelled down. He’d been burdened with Steve for three weeks now and things were getting worse. Reluctantly, almost begrudgingly, Steve sauntered over and put his hands on the ladder. Darius…

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Time Inc.

Author : Travis Gregg “So first things first,” the man began, “there is no such thing as time traveling. I’ll repeat it again for those of you who are a little slow on the uptake. There is no such thing as time traveling. The past is the past, you can’t go back.” The…

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Reversion

Author : Beck Dacus In the middle of filing my taxes, I got a phone call. I hoped it would be some kind of relief from this stress, but it wasn’t to be; it was my wife’s lawyer calling, saying she wanted to meet about the settlement and matters of custody over lunch…

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Bleeding Gums

Author : Mark Cowling Alan studies his reflection in the bathroom cabinet mirror. His face seems wrong — older, for a start. And unfamiliar in a way he can’t define, like something put together by the police from eyewitness descriptions. He looks around the room, now…

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He

Author : Jae Miles, Staff Writer “Perhaps it was the spirit of the time and the place that affected me. But I assure you no occurrence of any of my other battlefields impressed me so keenly. I halted on my tour to gaze on the spectacle, and to reflect on its meaning….

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The Fountain

Author : Andy Tu Reach into me and fix the leak that’s dripping my youth away. The creams, the antioxidants, the buckets of ice baths—what good have they done but stall the crawl of age? My first wrinkle, curving upwards from my left brow like an evaporating tear. A…

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The Architect’s Testament

Author : Morrow Brady Through my VR glasses, I opened the file and a 3D computer model of an office tower loomed before me. This century old relic, designed by a long dead Architect, was my job for today.

I worked my way down the building, systematically walking…

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Mind Games

Author : David Burkhart Where the hell is she? Joel searched everywhere for her. The cargo hatch was still securely sealed so she couldn’t be in the cargo bay. She couldn’t have opened the forward hatch or they would have been sucked out into space. It was only a…

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The God of No One

Author : Michael Jagunic There was an asteroid belt made of bones on the other side of the quasar. I saw it, long ago. It is all that I remember of the last place. Of the place that came before that, I remember nothing except that I was there, long long ago. Sometimes…

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First Contact

Author : Steven Carver One last tremor ran through the pod as it passed into the atmosphere of the small blue planet. The heat shield retracted from the viewport and the pilot got his first view of a real ocean. His home planet had dried into an uninhabitable barren…

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  • Whoops

    Author : Robert Niescier The bacterium was our lab’s greatest …