Author : Sarah Klein

He was getting another body. Again.

Always something new, though. Many people got almost the same body again – erase my scars, make me look younger, but I want to keep my fingerprints, they’d say. Smooth out the wrinkles, get rid of my freckles – that was what this business was really for. But he was different. This was his drug. Instead of once, it seemed infinite. This time I want brown hair, this time I want more muscle, this time make me blind in one eye. It was his experience, he said.

I didn’t call it an experience. I called it stupid and wasteful. He was never one to listen to anyone else, though. Ostracized by his family, he lived alone. Friends visited him occasionally – he was no hermit – but many people looked down on him. Everyone I knew thought I looked down on him, too. But every soul has their shady, heart-wrenching secret, and mine was that I loved him. Well, he knew it, of course. I’d confessed to him twice during our lengthy friendship, and both times he had brushed it aside. He didn’t feel that way, he said, and I don’t think he ever felt that way for anyone. Still, we continued being friends, as we enjoyed each other’s ideas and conversation.

But soon, he was worse. Switching bodies more often, he also began to start experimenting with drugs. I found him several times passed out on the floor, paraphernalia scattered, vomit in gruesome puddles. Didn’t he want anything more than this? I asked him, pressured him, and begged him, but to no avail. He was self-destructing, and he didn’t care.

You can’t switch bodies forever. Each time, it gets riskier and riskier. They’d told him this was the last body they were giving him, he said, with a sigh of disgust. They don’t want the blood on their hands when something goes wrong. In his blissful, honest tone, he told me when and where he was getting transplanted. I’d always been good to him – it was impossible for me to do anything nefarious to him, and he knew that. But I was losing him, and I knew it.

It’s illegal to break into a procedure. It’s illegal to tamper with a procedure. It’s also extremely easy, if you know how to be quiet and who to bribe. There may be laws, but without proper enforcement, they’re nothing but paper. And so, I found myself in his room, looking down at the two bodies and all the tubing. I smiled, seeing his new body being very similar to his original one. For some reason, it made me feel like there was some way for his redemption. I pricked my finger carefully, watching the blood form into a single, round droplet. Carefully inserting it into the rest of his blood transfer tube, I slipped it back in and left. I didn’t know what it would do, or what havoc it would cause. He’d have some of me, even if I never had him.

This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows
365 Tomorrows Merchandise: The 365 Tomorrows Store
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow

Ian Gets Involved

Author : Selena Thomason

Ian knew he shouldn’t get involved. Still, he set down his drink, tapped on the towering back next to him and said, “Look, why don’t you leave her alone? Clearly the lady is not interested.”

The hulk turned towards him, which is when Ian noticed the extra pair of arms coming out of the alien’s torso.

A Ketchin, Ian thought. That’s just great.

Ian had heard of the Ketchins but never actually seen one. They were supposed to be formidable fighters, both strong and skilled. Ian expelled a long breath and bolstered his nerve. It was too late to back down now.

The woman moved between them. “Come on boys, there’s no need for trouble,” she cooed.

Ian couldn’t decide if she was stupid or drunk. “Miss, you best get out of the way and let me handle this.”

Instead, the woman pulled Ian to the side and lowered her voice. “Look, fly-boy, I don’t need or want your help.” Ian was startled to find that all the sweetness had gone out of her demeanor.

“What?” How much had she been drinking, he wondered. “He was clearly hitting on you.”

“Well of course he was, you idiot,” she whispered. “I’m secreting a Ketchin pheromone. Do you have any idea how much it costs to get those artificially? A least a week’s pay. A busy week’s pay.”

“You want this lug’s attention?” Ian realized too late that he had raised his voice again.

“Well, yeah!” she fired back.

The Ketchin pounded an inner fist to his chest. “Want me, she does,” he proclaimed proudly from a couple feet away.

Ian leaned into the woman and whispered, “But why?”

“You don’t know much, do you fly-boy?” She pulled Ian away a few more steps while waving flirtatiously to the alien as if to say she would be right back. “Look, Ketchin are easily satisfied… physically, you know, and without any intimate contact on my part. Get it?”

Ian balked at trying to untangle that unpleasant mental picture. He just stared back at the woman.

“Their erogenous zones are under their inner arms,” she prompted.

“Really?” Ian leaned around the woman to get a look at the Ketchin who was still gazing lovingly at the strange woman.

“All I have to do rub him under his arms and then…”

Ian raised his hands as if to stop her from continuing the sentence. “Enough. I get it. But why would you want to?”

The woman leaned in closer. “Ketchin males are very agreeable post-pleasure. And very generous….” She glanced over at her alien prey and gave him another wave.

“I see.”

“So, if you could just stay out of it.”

“Right. Gotcha. Consider me out of it.”


“No problem. I really was just trying to help.”

“I know. Thanks anyway.”

Ian sat back down at the bar and ordered a double. He vowed that next time he would confirm the damsel was actually in distress before getting involved.

This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows
365 Tomorrows Merchandise: The 365 Tomorrows Store
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow


Author : Sad Sama

“What’s it like?”

The pale-haired wispy woman that is Alicia stares up at Brian as he asks his question. From the observation deck behind the engine complex the two of them could view the planet below. It is a humbling sight, but Brian’s attention is on Alicia. “What’s it like being a Corewoman?”

Alicia Composes her thoughts in reminiscent contemplation. “The first part is easy. I step inside the chamber. The walls are black from the many times they’ve been used, and they form a sphere around me. There is no light inside once the door closes. I begin to visualize the equations in my head, and then I start to solve them, forming very specific patterns of electrical impulses in my brain. They’re patterns within the patterns of electricity that comprise my mind and consciousness, but they’re unstable in a very specific way.”

Alicia turns her gaze back to the planet as she continues, “At first there’s a burning sensation spreading throughout my body, but that’s just my nerves dying as the energy buildup breaks down my brain. Numbness follows, just as my eyes tear up before their nerves die. I can hear static for a moment followed by nothing. My brain is gone and my body follows suit, burning up as fuel in the growing mass of energy and flux. Then the engines start to siphon off the excess energy to fuel the cruiser’s propulsion system.”

Brian looks over Alicia’s willowy figure. “How do they bring you back?”

Alicia speaks softly, “At the center of all that energy exists very specific patterns of energy. They’re the same as the electrical patterns that make up my consciousness. So they funnel the core of energy into an assembly chamber that converts it back into matter… back into a real body with that pattern of energy as the electrical impulses in my brain.”

“So to run the ship you have to die?”


“Is it nice being so powerful?”

“Not really.” Alicia lifts her knees and rests her chin on them. “There aren’t many that can solve the equations that cause the energy flare. The Fleet’s scared that if any of us get into an accident or even just bump our heads that we’ll forget the equations and suddenly we can’t do our duty anymore. The Fleet rarely lets me off the Cruiser, and when they do I need several escorts. I’m not allowed to drive or fly a shuttle. I’m not permitted to even cut my own food. Everyone does everything for me, and after a while they start to treat me as if I can’t do these simple things, and they end up making me feel useless.”

Unsure of his words, “But Corewomen and Coremen are the most important parts of our Fleet.”

“Heh…” the chuckle is half a whimper. “Why does being so important make me feel like the most unimportant person ever?”

The next hour is quiet between them as Brian searches for an answer.

This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows
365 Tomorrows Merchandise: The 365 Tomorrows Store
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow

Alternate 6633KE

Author : Joshua Reynolds

The dead moved on surprisingly swift legs, despite muscles that had to be mostly composed of rot. So he ran faster.

It had been a meteor, carrying a star-sickness. That was what had caused it. It wouldn’t have mattered if he hadn’t been here when it happened. For those first few days when the virus was in the air and eating away at living cells and he was trapped here with them. Quarantined by faceless bureaucrats for the good of everything else.

And now he was running, his breath hissing in and out of three lungs, skin burning with fever. He had to get home. Get away from this sour world, get help. All he needed was some help.

All he would get was the Censor.

Wight watched from the trash-strewn alleyway as the empty-eyed legions hunted the last living man on this Earth, his coat in shreds, clothing bloodied, face filled with the same ruthless determination to succeed and survive that he himself saw in the mirror every morning. Which wasn’t surprising really. They were both Censors after all. Both Wight.

Brothers in blood and bone and genetic coding. Created in steel wombs and raised in nutrient tubes by nanny-bots programmed to teach them all the values of Prime-Time and the Timeline Validation Bureau, to ready them for the war in the gaps between seconds. Mister Wight. Censor Wight. One and all.

They even thought alike. Which is why he was here now. To stop himself.

He stepped out of the alley as his other self ran past and stood in the path of the hungry dead. As the dead groaned and converged on him, arms outstretched, jaws slack he pulled on a pair of TeslaSurge gloves and stretched out his own arms. Blue energy suddenly cracked to life between his fingers, rippling up and down between his palms. With a flick of his wrists he released the energy, whipping it into the advancing forms. It coiled and snapped almost like a thing alive as it jumped from one body to the next, destroying what little remained of their physiological cohesion and reducing them to puddles of meat and stink. Soon all of the hunting pack were dissolving in their own juices. But there was a sound on the wind. A mindless rumble. More of them on the way.

“They have excellent hearing. They’ll follow the sound of the energy discharge.” his twin coughed into a bandaged hand, features haggard. Weeks of running, hiding, fighting. All of it had worn him down, worn away his sense of duty. He intended to go home, quarantine or no. Wight could see it in his eyes. “I need to leave. Now.”

“I will.” Wight raised his crackling gloves. The other Censor’s tired eyes widened slightly. In the light put off by the gloves he looked ill. Like death warmed over.

No wonder really. He was infected after all. All it took was one bite. Just one. And that meant he couldn’t be allowed back into the time-stream.

“I’m sorry.” Wight said as the energy rippled outward, away from his hands towards his twin, whose shoulders slumped, as if a massive burden had been taken off them.

“I know.” he said as the energy enveloped him. Breaking him down back into his basic elements. Until the Censor stood alone on an empty street with only the dead for company.

Then he too was gone, leaving another sour world in his wake.

This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows
365 Tomorrows Merchandise: The 365 Tomorrows Store
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow


Author : TJMoore

Simon checked his course and speed against his charts. He was still only marginally ahead of the others but he hoped to be well ahead at the far buoy. He checked his lines and glanced at his sail which was full and tight. He relaxed and went below to fix some chow.

Ten hours later Simon rechecked his position and that of the other yachts in the race. Something was wrong. His size to mass ratio should have given him the edge on the first leg, yet the others were catching up. He checked his tension again and confirmed his sail angle. Everything was perfect yet they continued to advance on his lead.

Another ten hours later and he was again pulling away but as soon as he got any distance on the rest of the ships he started to slow down. Curiouser and curiouser said Alice. For giggles he took an average Lumen Per Square Meter reading. It was gradually declining. Simon scratched his head and thought. He took another reading and saw it was lower than before. That was insane. The LPSM didn’t fall off that quickly at this rate of acceleration.

Suddenly he had an idea. He opened the meteoroid shield and actually looked back at the other ships and immediately understood the problem. The combined total of all the solar sails was blotting out the sun. As he pulled further away, more shadows fell on his own sail and reduced his thrust. Simon hauled in the starboard lines causing the hundred and fifth square kilometers of mylar sail to change its angle to the sun to about thirty degrees. His acceleration dropped even lower but he gradually started to slide off to the side of the pack. As soon as he was clear of the shadows of the other racers he let out his lines. His radar confirmed that he was now constantly increasing his lead.

Simon smiled and went down to catch some sleep. In another week he’s have to perform the tricky maneuver that would slingshot him around Mars, the first buoy, and begin the second leg of the race.

This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows
365 Tomorrows Merchandise: The 365 Tomorrows Store
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow