Market Special

Author : TJMoore

The butcher brought his cleaver down with a meaty “THUNK” and scraped another festipods head into the waste bin. He hung the shimmering body on a hook in line with a dozen or so just like it and grabbed another from the pile.

“These are as fresh as they get.” He advertised to the customer waiting at the counter. “I just got them in this phase.”

“Sixty a quarter pod is a little steep even if they are fresh.” She complained. “What about your grizorma, does it have preafers in it or is it gnashy?”

“I make ‘em myself with the sharpest preafers in the valley.” He bragged.

“I’ll take a third of a half loaf then.” she decided and continued browsing the cold case at the front of the counter.

“Are those Humans really twenty apiece?” she inquired.

“Yep, special introductory price on those from a new supplier” he confirmed.

“How do they get them so cheap? Aren’t they incredibly hard to find?” she asked.

“Not these” he gestured; “They’re farm raised by the supplier”.

“My, at that price, we can have them every ten-revs” she chortled. “I’ll take a half pod.”

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

Oak Island

Author : Alasdair Stuart

The last morning, we gathered on the beach. Someone made the inevitable Nevil Shute joke and too many people laughed. The noise was braying, desperate and I moved away from it, worried, somehow that I might get some on me.


Vanya was heading towards me, his bald head gleaming against the unnaturally blue sky. I’d been told why it had happened, something to do with too much oxygen, with the plants that were choking most of Europe now. I’d not listened. There didn’t seem to be any point.


‘What did you dream about?’


He smiled, having none of it. ‘I don’t believe you. We all dreamed last night, all different. I checked. Mike dreamt of spacecraft buried beneath city streets, Jo dreamt of dinosaurs being corralled beneath a double moon. Shulta dreamt of a war fought between toys.’

I thought about being annoyed, storming off. My only options were to join the group further down the beach or go back to the hotel, watch the news and see how bad things had got since I woke up. Neither seemed attractive.

‘What did you dream about, Vanya?’

He smiled. ‘I dreamt of riding an escalator through time.’

I snorted. ‘That’s ridiculous.’

Vanya threw his arms wide. ‘As ridiculous as a plague of glass? Or forests swallowing an entire continent? Look around, Leigh. Ridiculous is relative.’

I stared at him for a long time. ‘Why is this happening?’

He grinned, his coffee mug steaming. ‘Because God plays with dolls, not dice. Because creation needs to be reset every once in a while and the consolation we get is here, now.’

I looked at the forty people on the island, the music, the false bonhomie, the burnt sky.

‘Hell is other people.’

‘And heaven is other worlds.’ He looked at me, cradling the coffee mug. ‘You never told me what you dreamt.’

‘That I was married.’

‘Really?’ He tried for disappointment and nonchalance, managing neither.


‘Who to?’


Vanya’s jaw dropped. I smiled. ‘So, I hope you’re right.’

‘That makes two of us.’

‘Could I have some of your coffee?’

‘Oh, sure.’

I walked over to him, taking the mug and letting the warmth ease through my fingers. After a moment, I sat down. After another, he joined me and together we waited for the new world.

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 : Josh Romond

The neurosurgical tech Andrew Asher clutched his overcoat tight over his scrubs and tried to concentrate on the National Guardsman eying him across the barricade. Overhead the city’s kilometer-long support pylons reverberated like infernal gongs, torqued by the psychic eruption. Columns of refugees spilled around the dirty plastic barrier propelled by its unnatural, cold wind.

From behind her silvered faceplate the Guardsman said, “Buddy, we’re here to get people OUT, not let you IN.”

Andrew shuffled his feet, impatient and cold. “This has to be the last of them.”

“Doesn’t matter, you’re not getting in.”

Andrew bit back his retort as, ‘TAKING TOO LONG,’ appeared inside his contact lens. He glanced back at the tractor trailer idling in the tide of refugees.

“Give me a minute,” he subvocalized.

‘30 SECS.’

Andrew turned back and through gritted teeth said, “We won’t get in the way, we’ll be gone in an hour.”

The Guardsman drummed her fingers on her rifle. “Turn that thing around and get out of here.”


Andrew sighed. “Limit?” he subvocalized.

There was a pause, Andrew imagined the Doctor querying their client, then, ‘NONE.’

“How about five thousand each?” Andrew shouted so the other Guardsmen could hear. Several heads turned.

After a pause the commander’s faceplate hissed up revealing bloodshot and sunken eyes. “Ten.”

Andrew shrugged and pulled blank bills from his pocket, thumbing ten thousand into each.

The commander verified them one by one then motioned over her shoulder. Two Guardsmen began beating back the crowd with their batons while the others dragged the barricade to the sidewalk. People screamed. One man caught a baton across the temple. He jerked like a cut marionette and toppled to the sidewalk.

Andrew turned and trudged to the rear of the trailer amid swirling litter. He heaved open the doors and slipped inside.

The Doctor stood before the pMRI holograph in the trailer’s instrument bank clutching his keypad. Beaded sweat stood out on his forehead.

Seated in back beside the small, brain-dead boy in the bed was the Widow, staring off at nothing. She gripped the boy’s hands so tight her knuckles stood out like little white marbles. The only sound was the slow, rhythmic cycling of the boy’s ventilator.

Andrew said, “We’re good.”

The Doctor nodded and tapped the go ahead on his keypad. The truck lurched forward. Andrew imagined the refugees parting in their flight from the psychic eruption, the warp in space-time, birthed by the city’s sheer crush of consciousness, into which they rushed headlong.

He dropped onto a stool beside the boy, examining the ring of cables extending from the boy’s shaved and sutured head. They led to an antenna on the trailer’s roof.

The Widow’s gaze slid to the back of the Doctor’s head. “This WILL work,” she said.

The pylons’ groaning whalesong reverberated through the trailer. Andrew rubbed his throbbing temples, they were approaching the outer regions of the eruption.

“Oh yes,” the Doctor said, nodding vigorously, “Yes of course.”

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 : Catherine Preddle

“What the hell happened out there, Corporal?”

“General… General Dalton, Sir…” The young soldier stammered in surprise and tried to sit up at the same time.

“Easy, son. Lie back down.” Christ, the General thought to himself, this boy was young enough to be his grandson. He shot a worried glance at the medical technician as the soldier collapsed, coughing and spluttering, back onto the narrow metal bed. Out of sight of the boy, the technician silently tapped his watch. The last thing they both wanted was for him to realize what was going on.

Once he’d recovered, the soldier looked at the General expectantly, “Where am I, Sir? It’s so cold in here. I can’t even feel my legs.” That’s because they’re not there anymore, the Dalton thought grimly.

“You’re back at the base, in,” he hesitated for a moment, searching for the right words, “in the medical unit. Now, what do you remember?”

“It … it was chaos, Sir. Intelligence was wrong about the firing range of the enemy laser cannons, very wrong. We didn’t stand a chance, Sir.” The soldier convulsed into coughing again and closed his eyes, the effort of talking overwhelming him for a time.

“It’s alright son, we’re going to figure out what happened.” Somebody’s head was going to roll for this and the General was damn well sure it wasn’t going to be his.

“Are my wife and daughter here yet, Sir?” Oh great, so the boy was old enough to have a family; Dalton made a mental note to have some kind of valour medal awarded to make sure they were taken care of. The tech was getting agitated now – they must be running out of time.

“They’ll be here soon. Do you want me to tell them anything in case … in case you’re asleep when they arrive?” He made an attempt to sound breezy.

“Just that I love them and I’m going to be ok, I guess.”

“Sure, son.” Smiling reassuringly, the General patted him on the shoulder. God, he hated this part the most. “I’ll tell them.”

The boy visibly relaxed and sank further into the bed, shutting his eyes. Dalton continued to stare at him, a lump forming in his throat until the tech interrupted him.

“He’s gone, General. For good.” He snapped to attention; he had a job to do here. Bringing these kids back from the dead, even if it was for only three precious minutes, cost the military a fortune, had to be justified by a mountain of paperwork and required authorization at the highest level. But the mission had been sabotaged and he needed eye witness accounts.

“How many more?”

The technician gestured to the bank of morgue drawers behind him that stretched from floor to ceiling. “43 corpses. 30, maybe 31, possible reanimations.”

The General grimaced. It was going to be a long afternoon.

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

Flash! Gordon

Author : Ahoten Sulciphur

Finally starting to become clear. Granted, clarity was a fuzzy concept at best after all this time, but the flash was starting to wear thin. Like the man across the room, pushing his way through the milky white smoke that settled in the air like dust on a table: that vacuum that followed, where the offender only existed as ephemeral wisps and contrails. ‘Well dammit, at least it’s something,’ thought Gordon.

Of course there were legends, fables, myths… call them what you will, there is no doubt the denizen has been bellowing the siren’s song since eardrums first tickled on the wind. Ancients fought wars for it, built entire ideologies against it, raised entire generations to abhor it. Yet the populace never tired in their quest to obtain, no matter what the dangers or dire consequences. But to obtain was simply cursory. To indulge: well, therein lies the uncountable, soldiers felled by their own sword.

‘Millennia ago, inconsequential,’ muses Gordon. The myriad of choices of travelers past no longer existed. The intolerable risk to life and limb, the unknowable unknowns: vanquished, by the miracle that is modernity. One was the solution, the panacea. Hurdles aside, what excuse held for no longer partaking?

Muddled thoughts, the path harder to see. Pivotal, must get back. The cycle an old acquaintance: Flash! And then, the world lurches drunkenly forward, sometimes days, sometimes years, yet in the brilliance of an instant lasting eternities. Yet Gordon remains docked, no deck crew to release the moors. Friends – as if the meaning were still truly understood – seem to draw but a single breath before they’re consigned to the æther. A distant memory would be a blessing: existence negated is the norm.

So it’s done, then. Decided. Gordon pushes up, balance an elusive but eventually submissive beast, and shuffles his feet toward the exit. This perpetual port-of-call no more: convinced and confident, his stance straightens, gait quickens. He’ll be outside soon, the assault will lessen. ‘Failure, not this time,’ ponders Gordon. Resolve is strong, it’s all finally clear. He walks past them, one by one, grit building with each dodged glance. Days, weeks, months, but Gordon remains entrenched, time moves as it does for all. Friends come, and grow, and even persist in existence. More piercing stares dodged, they know: he’s not buying anymore, he’s done.

Flash. The milky haze closes in, coherence of mind vanishes, replaced by the brooding smog bearing three sixty. The void-maker vanished, the void with it. Head shakes, grabs for smoky visions of faces never seen. A question haunts the dark recesses of the mind, barely audible: when was it ever right? ‘Did I ever know?’ thinks Gordon. Flash.

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