Kaleidoscope

TURN THE SCOPE. Earth-124. Subject: Davis, Conner. Occupation: Car Salesman. It was an ordinary day of waking up, drinking coffee, and making his way to the lot again but Conner was glad that every day had its predictability. New Fords meant New Mustangs with all…

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Wanted

“‘Wanted: Breast donors. 34 C or D cup, O negative or AB, Caucasian. Non-smokers preferred. $500 USD plus expenses. Absolutely NO BINDING.’ What the hell is this?” Ryan waved the classified ads in Race’s face. “Donors for plastic surgery? How much demand…

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Steganography

The feeds are not for the news. The feeds are the distraction, the feeds are the facade. The news is contained within them, invisible to the naked eye, downloading itself as cookies, slipped into meta tags. Sometimes, Anna wondered who controlled the news, who encoded…

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Left

The girl with the tangled hair sat on the cliff face overlooking the ocean, and dangled her feet into the expanse. A ragged doll made of socks and cast-offs sat beside her. Every so often, the girl would adjust the doll’s slumping posture. She saw the man’s strange…

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Gold Fish

When Goldie opened her eyes and saw the colorful fish swimming outside the curved window, she screamed, loud and high. The big Ohma waddled over and picked her up in its fuzzy, globular arms, hugging the little girl close to its warm soft body. Goldie shoved the Ohma…

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Legend of the Candy Cane

No one is sure where it came from. The old books with paper pages will tell you that it came from Cologne Cathedral, but I’m not so sure anymore. I imagine it comes out of the woodwork when trouble starts and times are dark. It’s time for the holidays again, but…

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Transformation

Me? Oh, I’ve always known. I mean, not that I knew what it meant, but I’ve felt this way since I was a child. It wasn’t something that came out of nowhere, you know? But yes. When I went to high school, that was when I really had problems. I remember hiding in the…

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Escravo

The picture made the cover of the Tzarin colony newsletter: a petite, blond-haired girl kneeling in the center of a flock of hibernating escravo, her arms wrapped around her skinny stomach and her face contorted by sobs. It was a powerful image, this preteen runaway…

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In A Nest Of Ice And Snow

Hongping watched a small child flounce across the glacier floor. The furry grey snowsuit the child was sealed into kept it from going faster than a clumsy amble, but it didn’t seem to mind. It was charging toward a huddle of summarily swaddled children. Waving its…

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Thirteen

Herring rushed down the wet road toward the dock. Thirteen minutes till the grid went live. Thirteen, an unlucky number. Herring thought about knocking on one of the doors in the first class residential district, pretending to be a businessman trapped by his late…

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Digicide

It’s tough to tell when someone disappears. You always just figure they’re busy at work, or studying for finals, or on vacation, or something of the sort, so none of us thought anything was strange when we didn’t see Nodek for a while. Actually, to be brutally honest,…

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Pile Of Dead Things

The surprise was ready. Melanie had worked hard to ensure that this November would be the most wondrous time that her daughter, Fawn, had ever experienced. She’d made all the right calls and had the work done in a forest around their estate. As the workers departed,…

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This Year's Aristogiton

“Half-man, half-dinosaur!” A voice-over perfectly matched with the combination of human and tyrannosaurus genes that hovered above Zyi Izaiah Eizenberg’s holo snapped him awake. “The perfect candidate! He literally devours his opponents! Kennedy Rex wants what you…

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Cyber

“So what you’re saying is that—” “What I’m saying is that I want you to look at me when you speak!” Christie scowled at her husband. It was an argument they’d had at least a dozen times in the six months they’d been married. “That’s what webcams…

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Ticket

There were no trees on earth but despite this the Martian men took to the metal forest as easily as the native Martian woodlands. They battled the native Earthers in crumbling buildings and industrial towers, dead electrical lines strapped between sprawling cities. On…

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Boom

It’s not easy, you know. I’ve had to sit here until they needed me, just like all the rest, but they tell me I’m special. The scientists told me that I would be different than the others, that they pulled me from the plant and opened me up with the cutting edge of…

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Sally Stardust's Cosmic Celebration ™

I think I was about eight years old when I decided I was going to be a scientist. When you’re eight, this sounds like the perfect career. I could see myself in a starched white lab coat surrounded by petri dishes and beakers as I looked into an antique microscope all…

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Personal Taste

“I’d like one Sephiroth, please.” The voice of the timid, mousy-haired girl in front of the counter matched her appearance. Maggie sighed as she looked up from her paper. “Do you have an appointment?” “Ah, no. Was I supposed to?” The shy girl looked…

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