Just Human Nature

Author: Rick Tobin “He’s on edge again. It’s intolerable when he tears into our crew like this. Makes me itch all over.” D-7 moved away from overheated control panels. He heard sputtering of wiring insulation against conduit. Corrosive effervescence from singed plastic ...

Prisoners

Author: David Henson The prisoner, his shoulder burning with pain, winces the pickaxe overhead then slams it down. The crystalline surface fractures. The shards slice his hands as he loads the jagged pieces into his wheelbarrow. When he hesitates, a disembodied voice tells ...

The Painted Face

Author: Rollin T. Gentry A series of video clips play on the large screen behind the podium, low budget re-enactments, as a smooth, male voice narrates: fear of heights, fear of the dark, snakes, and spiders. Primitive humans making simple mistakes leading to their demise. ...

Field of Flowers

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer The man hangs inverted and naked from the pole that sits at the centre of a galaxy. A neglected cosmos of once delicate but now mob trodden flowers. A meeting place that slopes down, pulling away from where the eternal city had halted its ...

Chalet

Author: Mark Joseph Kevlock The snow outside is at least four feet high. This will finally give us that chance to talk. Only, which one of us will begin? "I never meant to hurt you," Marcine says. "You tried to kill me on three separate occasions." "I don't always ...

Service Animals

Author: Richard M. O'Donnell, Sr. Tee-Crux entered the spaceport with her service animal in tow. Everyone stopped to stare at her ET-Ultra. Even the ticket agents and porters gawked. Tee-Crux was especially pleased with the oohs and ahhs from the verbal races and the ...

Elephant Shoes

Author: Steve Smith, Staff Writer I stand in the doorway, an invisible force for the moment stopping me from going any further. Arthur, ever the watchful companion, lifts his head and looks right at me, ears perked up, tail wagging, gently thump-thump-thumping against ...

The Dinosaur’s Eyes

Author: Stephen C. Curro It’s curious to look into the eyes of a dinosaur. There’s life there, but not the cold reptilian shade you’d expect. You can see the theropod is assessing you with genuine curiosity. Then it moves and its head bobs slightly like a bird, its foot ...

Harbinger

Author: Jamie Fouty Everything dies in this house but me. I don’t know if I’m immortal or if this is punishment. Three births happened here, perhaps equilibrium was wanting. The second death was the hardest; the third took two at once. After the fourth, I abandoned the ...

Little Red Drops

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer A single bullet was all that was needed to start the last ever war on earth. A bullet and the head of a small child to put it in. Innocent, in as much as she surely had in her possession a life less used. But then so did many of the ...

Paper Moon

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer The walls are sweating as I labour up the stairs. Intravenous packs are heavy and I have to buy in bulk, otherwise I couldn’t afford enough of them. The door opens to my retina print and I barge in, pushing the door closed with my ...

CHARLIE

Author: Suzanne Borchers CHARLIE had found itself leaning against a trash bin in a nearby alley—alone, jobless, and needing shelter. Its owner had abandoned the retail store to run away with his clerk to parts unknown. It had rained for a week and its once pristine joints ...

Oxygen Isn’t Love

Author: Irene Montaner I was never good at holding my breath underwater. So the moment the doors closed I knew I only had seconds left to live. Seconds left to think of Luna, alone in that escape pod. One Mississippi. Two Mississippi. I used to play that game on hot ...

Rocket Man

Author: David Barber “Hi, granddad. It’s Tom." His granddad’s puzzled gaze flicked between the brothers. “Look, Corbin’s here. We’ve come to see you.” “Christ,” muttered Corbin. “Probably keep them under the spell all day. Total immersion software is the new...” Tom didn't know ...

Joel’s Best Vacation Ever

Author: Tim Ulrich The doors opened and the small throng Joel was standing with, moved to board the lift. They shuffled into the car, jostling against each other as they settled into an impromptu formation for the brief, but cramped, journey up to the Centerline ...

Online Always

Author: Lance J. Mushung I stepped onto the yellow and black transfer disk mounted on the gray deck of Delia Akeley and began bouncing like a child expecting candy. I'd be home in moments. Mickie, the A.I. half of the crew, said through the speaker mounted on the ...

Cat Toys

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer Cat toys. They have an aisle for cat toys. Of all the gaudy alleys in all the supermarkets and I find myself boxed into the last seconds of existence surrounded by fake mice and pom-poms. I fucking hate cats. I can hear Mrs Graves ...

The Eyes That Never Sleep

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer I open my eyes to behold a slit of blue between tenements that descend from lofty, sunlit heights to the sordid mess of which I am a larger part. Lining that strip of clear sky are the blurry, baroque patterns made by fire escapes and ...

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