The titanium cylinder arrived battered, but JonX571 recognized the Intergalactic Express logo and the date 2021. Inside were three squirming humans: male, female, intersex.
His own archived memory chips retrieved data on world leaders and nuclear war, and an electronic screen with instructions.
What he found perplexing was “Love them.”
Kim Favors chases falling stars from California.
“That’s what I would’ve done,” he said. “I would’ve asked all the same questions; would’ve been sure exactly who I was dealing with; would’ve made certain he’d done exactly what they said. But I don’t think I would’ve pulled the trigger on him. I would’ve gone looking for his sister.”
Ron. Lavalette has been widely-published in both print and pixel forms. His first chapbook, Fallen Away, is now available from Finishing Line Press, and a reasonable sample of his work can be found at EGGS OVER TOKYO.
Father flattens old photos, my boyhood hair white as snow.
He looks at my dark head, asks again if I color it. All my friends have been gray for years.
I consider the truth: I’m expelling inner darkness that beckons demons. It exits through my hair.
“No, Dad. It’s natural.”
Jeff Stone has published several short stories and many poems. He has three novels in various stages of completion and loves learning too much for his own good. Albert Camus said fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth. Dark Hair is a short piece of fiction that resides somewhere in between.
Now a time-worn 22-year-old, after ten successful years hunting monsters under beds, Tommy was washed up and ostracized, no longer hero but villain.
His insatiable appetite for monster flesh and increasing expertise in the slaughter had brought his prey near extinction.
A protected species, the last monsters cowered in zoos.
Alison would like to give thanks to Ran Walker, who made her think about those poor monsters under the bed in a different light.
Editor: This story is a follow-up to Ran Walker’s “Hunting Nightmares.”
She had stolen the seed pod from Kew, years ago, when “borrowing” was still considered acceptable.
Cossetting it, encouraging it, keeping it safe. It took such effort. Gardening was her solace.
He picked the best stems, laid them on the coffin, and then, afterwards, poured bleach carefully over her plant.
Janet, who grew up near Detroit, now lives in Edinburgh and works for the newest Scottish university. She is a rubbish gardener.
I kissed you on the mouth, lips desperate and soft. You married a white guy, had two kids.
I stole a man’s dog, ran away to Alaska.
The man followed but the dog died.
Evenings I walk the beach, wind bleeding my lips.
I haven’t thought of you in years.
Cinthia Ritchie is an Alaska writer, ultra-runner, and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Find her work at New York Times Magazine, Evening Street Review, Sport Literate, Rattle, Best American Sports Writing, Mary, Into the Void, Clementine Unbound, Deaf Poets Society, Forgotten Women anthology, Nasty Women anthology, Gyroscope Review, Bosque Literary Journal and others. She’s a 2013 Best American Essay notable mention, and her first novel, “Dolls Behaving Badly,” was published by Hachette Book Group.
We were pressed against the back wall behind a tangle of dresses and hangers, the Boone’s Farm in our stomachs rising against the reek of moth balls. Blue and red flashing lights stabbed under the bifold doors, licking my guilty socks.
She took my hand, and suddenly nothing else mattered.
Chip Houser’s short fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, New Myths, Every Day Fiction, and elsewhere. He’s a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop, has an MFA in Creative Writing from UMSL, and thinks cedar is the better option for closets.
Two unexpected things happened after Timmy killed the monster under his bed: (1) he ate it (and rather enjoyed it), and (2) he took to hunting the monsters under the beds of other neighborhood kids. After all, someone had to do it—and he’d already developed a rather insatiable appetite.
Ran Walker is the author of sixteen books. He serves on the creative writing faculty of Hampton University in Virginia.
Guiding the knife carefully, he cut through skin, exposing the flesh beneath. Carving a chunk off, he popped it into his mouth.
The sweet juice of the mango washed over his taste buds; a bit of heaven.
At his feet, the bloody puddle expanded inexorably outwards while distant sirens screamed.
Bill Lives in Aberdeen, Scotland. His genius is only surpassed by his modesty, humility and ability to eat extraordinarily unhealthy amounts of fried food.
Nothing but trouble was open for business at that hour.
“Grabbing a tree,” Bruce said.
“Don’t,” said Allison. “I’ll pay the fifty bucks tomorrow.”
Dawn arrived without Bruce. Allison’s texts remained unread.
She assumed either Bruce was dead or they’d use his mug shot on their Christmas card.
Iain Young still can’t convince his family to get a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.