The breeding program has gone spectacularly. The few ultra-intelligent humans created technologies that moved the entire species forward. Lifespans were expanded; machines and medicines allowed the rest to become lazy, compliant, and complacent. Their minds softened along with their bodies.
They will be easy to harvest, just as we planned.
Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert writes science fiction, horror, dark fantasy, and the occasional poem. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthologies The Final Summons, Killing It Softly (Vol.1), and The Deep Dark Woods. Read her poetry in the anthology Wicked Witches, the websites Tales of the Zombie War and Eternal Haunted Summer, and in The Wayfarer: A Journal of Contemplative Literature. Suzanne is a freelance content creation expert and editor who writes in between meeting the incessant demands of her feline overlords. Find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @SuzsMuses.
I turn off the news, hands shaking.
Park two doors down, then shoulder through a chaos of cordons and police and media imps to reach home.
Place is in shambles, ransacked by people wearing disposable shoe covers.
Master closet door’s ajar—Swallow fire—the lockbox cracked open—Breathe ash—empty.
Tim Boiteau writes and lives near Detroit with his wife and son.
The new guard was familiar with most of the devices the curator showed him. He was experienced. He had worked, with the utmost discretion, at some of the highest security vaults and museums on the continent.
The only difference? Here they were all on the other side of the glass.
Daniel Galef collects those little metal clips they give you at the door.
Our children lost their connection. They could have learned from our mistakes, but in our quest for secrecy we hid the wrong things. We gave them the wrong stories.
They must learn the Earth’s magic, forget their alien origins. Time grows short.
We will not take them to another planet.
Rae Stinger writes from her home in Salem, Oregon, and awaits the return of her alien ancestors. You can find her on Twitter. @raestinger
She’d always been the good girl, the dutiful daughter, even-tempered wife and loving, supportive mother.
A woman with endless reservoirs of patience and good intentions, which made her popular with those far from home.
She’d folded her passion away in a place no one would ever look.
Until that day.
SG has a vivid imagination and lives in Brisbane, Australia.
The trees around here grow too fast. They take things from the ground and trap them in bark and heartwood. Once I found my bike sticking out of a trunk twenty feet in the air.
When Amy disappeared, we searched the woods, but I was too afraid to look up.
Aeryn Rudel is a writer from Seattle, Washington. He is the author of the Acts of War novels by Privateer Press, and his short fiction has appeared in The Arcanist, Factor Four Magazine, and Pseudopod, among others. Learn more about Aeryn’s work at rejectomancy.com.
Gus believes the strangest tales, including one that terrifies him—indeed, it’s his motive for never reading—about a pale, shroud-like thing that creeps behind you as you’re distracted, nose in a book, and which, being a courteous psychopath, waits for you to finish your sentence before it kills you.
Graham Robert Scott teaches writing at a university in north Texas. His stories have appeared in Barrelhouse Online, Nature, and 50-Word Stories. See more at hemicyon.wordpress.com.
Instead of returning home like a normal person the old witch blew the door off the hinges,
cackling as she swung her cloak, wafting the cape while twisting about.
But on this night the boy was ready, and the girl was ready,
their tripwire taut, the oven door wide open.
Bob Thurber is the author of “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel” and two collections of stories. A celebrated master of Flash and Micro Fiction, his work has appeared in 60 anthologies, received dozens of awards, and been used in schools and colleges throughout the world. He resides in Massachusetts where, though legally blind, he continues to write every day. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
My skin isn’t pleasant to look at. Ignoring the looks I get has never been easy. Living with it isn’t easy either. It itches constantly. Even without the gawkers when I leave the house, my skin gives me trouble.
Thank goodness I can take it off when I get home.
George Aitch is a writer from Blackheath whose short stories have previously been published in Massacre, Horla, and elsewhere.
She gazes into the abyss, a gnawing itch tickling the back of her brain. A wisp, a puff, a shroud of a notion keeks through the fog—before vanishing in an instant. Her eyes glaze, her mind blank.
“Why did I come in here?” she wails, glaring into the pantry.
Haley M. Hwang is a writer living in the Chicago area. Her career spanned working as a newspaper reporter, medical writer, and online entertainment editor. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University. When she isn’t writing, she is drinking coffee, eating pastries, and thinking about her next meal.