Somebody Comes to Town

The first inkling I had that something was up was when Dinah's was out of bumble-berry pie. It don't seem like much, but nobody in Clyville eats bumble-berry pie but me, and there's always a pie made when I come in after work. Dinah said I'd eaten the entire thing that afternoon with a half ...

Taffy

Author : Rachelle Shepherd There was a teal stained smile behind her plump cobalt lips. “Tonight’s flavor is cotton candy,” She placed a coal chunk in the sticky pit of Haze. It flared red-hot. Potpourri purrs into plumes of purple breath. “Smoke responsibly.” She went on to the next ...

Target Practice

Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer Tomas entered the sushi bar ten minutes before noon, ten minutes before his assignment would arrive. The restaurant was busy, not packed, and there were a few vacant tables along one side. His assignment would take the one closest to the ...

High Fliers

Author : Julian Miles, Staff Writer Bloody hell but it’s a long way down. It always gets to me at least once each shift. Burlaria has a vast atmosphere envelope. The result of it becoming the capital of the Nineteen Worlds was a huge increase in population. As the planet prided ...

Time Bomb

Author : Bob Newbell I hugged the grieving woman and told her I was sorry for her loss. I said her son had been a good friend and good soldier. I told her I would be thinking about her and then stepped aside to allow the mourners lining up behind me to offer their condolences. I looked ...

Parade of the Mute

Author : Ian Hill The dense battalion of grey-clothed workers strode through the militant capital, their stiff legs rising and falling in finely tuned unison. Their perfectly timed footsteps echoed around the dark square like gunshots, deafeningly loud compared to the enveloping ...

Angels

Author : Anthony Rove The night when Joey saw his first drop-off, dense grey fog hung over both sides of the Line. Across it, through the pea-soup clouds he saw the Liberator’s outline. Joey imagined that he could see Ben sitting upright in the driver’s seat with his noble stare locked ...

Speed of Lies

Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer Jams took the offramp still pressed flat against the fuel tank, arms outspread, hands clutching the handgrips with intent. The suspension fought to press the tires into the asphalt while mass and velocity tried to launch bike and rider into ...

Rove

Author : Anthony Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Look up on the cracked concrete wall. Do you see the slick digital screen chirping happily? It doesn’t need to tick. Clocks haven’t needed to tick for over two hundred years. But they used to. In long-forgotten analogue clocks, metallic guts would ...

Reality TV

Author : Willis Weatherford Omni leaned back in his bowl, rubbing his furrowed foreheads with a long, many-jointed leg. He gazed at the large screen and tried to squeeze inspiration from the last few rotations of his boring life as a writer. … Shent froze as the Permissors implanted in ...

Waves

Author : Nils Holst Many say space is a void, a looming blackness that extends to the end of forever. It is nothing but a great emptiness, a barren wasteland waiting to feel the touch of human expansion. It is the antithesis to everything humanity stands for. They are wrong. Space is ...

Pride

Author : Tony Taylor A klaxon blares again in Suda’s ear, dragging him toward consciousness. His groggy eyes strain open to find error messages flooding his helmet’s display. Replaced by fear, the fog of his mind begins to part. A distant scream snaps back into the foreground of his ...

The Dome

Author : Ian Hill They all gradually woke up, rising from the steely cradles to stagger to their feet and peer around in confusion. The mismatched assortment of befuddled people shuffled around the large circular room, taking in every detail of their surroundings while trying to find ...

Off the Menu

Author : Julian Miles, Staff Writer “Yngtranzian Harvester incoming! Genghis Class - it’s huge!” Janice sounds terrified, but she’s new. She’ll get over it. Many pre-spacers compared the depths of space to the seas of Earth. Truly prophetic words. A wise man once said: “The ocean ...

Space Age Pilgrimage

Author : Jorge Mendoza The gash on her forearm stopped dripping thanks to the two ounce can of epithelial hemming gel she stored under the bathroom sink. Survival instincts simmered down as muscle memory seized control over the bandages being wrapped across the exposed flesh. There ...

The Doorway

Author : C. E. Page Silt rained over her as she crawled from her hiding place; a pocket of air in the pile of rubble that had been her habitation tower. Others, some familiar, were emerging from the crumpled buildings to bay at the sky and drag grey hands over their anguished faces. ...

Them

Author : Art Klein I know there are more of them than before. Why have they stayed so long and why have even more of them arrived? “What’s going through your head now, Jack?” I looked at Tom across the table in a bar we frequent, and realized that I had once again fallen into that ...

What I Wasn't

Author : Tony Bertauski It started with a flash. Like the Big Bang, an explosion that swallowed everything. The pain sunk deep into my head, and then was replaced with blurry colors. There were no edges to the blobs floating before a background of gray. The pinks and the browns and ...

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