By the time the team stops three klicks into the expedition for another atmospheric test, it’s out of both reagents and atropine. The group comprises thirteen experts critical to humanity’s survival and a 17-year-old kid named Todd, who is trying to remember—
(Pistol drawn, Meade tells Todd to remove his gas mask.)
—how it felt to be invited, his joy at being included.
Read More Sentinel Species
…. Hexed against right turns, they’d loop until they ran out of gas. Then they’d walk in circles. ….
Read More Road Mage
50-Word Stories has published one of my micro-tales, this one a one-sentence amuse-bouche of horror titled “The Period at the End of This Sentence.”
Read More The Period at the End of This Sentence
By Graham Robert Scott The morning after Sandy Hook, I drove my boy to a birthday party. He was seven, same as some Sandy Hook kids. “The flags aren’t up all the way,” he observed. Texas wears a lot of Old Glory, now a constellation in mourning, flag after flag bowing low. “It’s all the…
Read More Constellations in Mourning
Carol’s husband leaves her for a theater usher just before her daughter goes to camp. “I’m okay,” Carol says to May. “I’ll be fine. Go have fun.”
But when May looks out the bus window, [….]
Read More Understudies
As her key catches and turns the lock, she spots his face in a downlight, end of the hall.
Instant recognition. In a beat, she’s in. Throws the deadbolt, reviews decisions.
Fanfic about bad boys of crime? Okay. But next time? None about men still living. Men uncaught.
Read More Stan
Animatronic taxidermy. The new bougie thing to do with their beloved. God, Hector wanted out of door-to-door sales.
“Oh! Don’t mind him,” his host said. “Never met a lap he didn’t like.”
On his thighs, the thing rolled onto its back, waggled its paws: pet my belly.
Read More Furbaby
The Beast of Hillfort wasn’t, as generally assumed, a dragon, though it had a sharkworth of teeth and a murder of wings. It had no particular taste for virgins, though in droughts of its preferred game, if the village didn’t offer up easy snacks, it would get hangry.
Its preferred game, when available to hunt? Dragons.
The village learned this the hard way, after they found someone to kill it.
Read More The Beast of Hillfort
The library carries old rituals, shelved in wafer-thin booklets.
He checks out a pictorial history of London, the ritual to cure erectile dysfunction secreted within. Its magic doesn’t work, but the painting of the Great Fire of 1666 does.
Great. Another thing to be embarrassed about.
Read More A Raging Fire
Taking the podium for her turn at the campus Big Read, fifty peers below, she spots the word debut two lines into her first page. Fear surges. She’s seen the word before, but has never heard it pronounced.
Then she recalls Matthew Mercer’s sigil: missteps don’t define you; strengths do.
Emboldened, fortified, she conjures her voice and speaks.
Read More Sigil
On Monday, the Cassie hivemind forecasts a global superflu, ninety percent lethal. On Tuesday, Aspasia predicts five percent.
The differing projections hinge, it appears, on the mathematical solution to Rostwick’s Paradox, on which the AIs disagree, and which no human can understand.
Quite in the dark, we’re rooting for Aspasia.
Read More Only Thing Left to Do Is What We’ve Always Done
As we staggered across the bar’s parking lot to the woodland path home, Dizzy Dave eyed the starry night sky with suspicion. Teasing him over his UFO obsession (he has all the books), I told him to keep his fool eyes on the treacherous ground. When I woke up, I was on my back in […]
Read More Jigsaws of the Same Make Have Interchangeable Pieces