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.
Saw my first tree today. So beautiful! Even better than the picture.
The museum guy said that in olden days the whole planet was covered in trees! I couldn’t imagine that.
Put my name down for the draw for tickets to see a mammal next year. Hoping for a rabbit.
Mick Mangan lives in England and writes plays, poems, songs, fiction, and non-fiction. There is more about his music at mickmangan.com.
Titan’s reflection on the spaceport’s panels reminded Gillian of a squeezed orange over monochrome tableware.
“Earth awaits.” The Captain pointed at the shuttle’s hatch. “I’ll retrieve artefacts and Corinthian marble. You?”
The once-Blue Planet had nothing left but ocean-ravaged megalopolis, a hunting ground for nostalgic souls.
“Seashells and broken hearts.”
Russell Hemmell is an alien from Mintaka snuggled into a (consenting) human host. Recent fiction has appeared on Aurealis, The Grievous Angel, New Myths, and elsewhere. See more at earthianhivemind.net and @SPBianchini.
The neon flashes.
I wobble slowly and try not to puke.
People are fast asleep and so I watch all alone.
Steel cut, razor-sharp edges softened by alcohol.
A smell of rats and fetid waste.
Stars in the sky shine above the silent city.
As if nothing has gone wrong.
Henry lives in the UK. Sometimes he thinks too much. Sometimes not enough.
“What are all those fires?” I asked.
“Oh, that? They’re burning books again,” said the ever-apathetic voice of my time-traveling guide. “Don’t worry, it’s just empty symbolism at this point. If they managed to get this far, you can bet they never would have read them in the first place.”
Thanos Filanis is a writer and IT student from Thessaloniki, Greece.
His name was called at fourteen-hundred hours Zulu Time. Winners (losers) of this lottery went up to surface level.
No contact in 31 days. Rations running dangerously low.
Necessary for the continuation of government. Shaking his hand and smiling. This burlesque head of state before him never made the shortlist.
Kevin Doalty Brophy is twenty-three years old and has just graduated from Economics, Politics and International Relations at University College Dublin. He will be commencing a Masters in Common Law in University College Dublin in September.
As the eradication patrol passed, creatures emerged from the shadows, balancing on spindly limbs as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
They approached the embassy timidly, tiny eyes peering up into the perimeter viewer.
The ambassador was nearby.
“Let the humans in. It was their planet.”
Hatched in the spire of Saint Eugene’s cathedral in Derry, or close enough for reality not to be offended, he swoops down with the odd Science Fiction manuscript which is duly transcribed from bird-scratching by his alter ego under threat of a severe head-clawing. Refusing to be identified, his partner in crime will only admit that Falcon, a Peregrine, can be seen vole-hunting in the local cemetery to feed his family. This is presumed to be a source of inspiration, but who can tell with raptors.
The moon’s surface was bleaker than I’d imagined.
From here the Earth looked lonely. Most of the land was gone, overtaken by melted icecaps and nuclear war.
We all lost in the end, but here we were, waiting for salvation in the moon’s welcoming arms.
The tides might yet turn.
Nathan Hystad is a writer from Sherwood Park, Alberta. He has been published by Saturday Night Reader and Kraxon Books. He also has a story in Tickety Boo Press’s anthology Malevolence: Tales from Beyond the Veil and in North 2 South Press’s Whispers from the Past: Fright and Fear anthology. He enjoys writing micro-fiction and has been published at Micro Fiction Monday Magazine, Fifty Word Stories, and Horror in a Hundred by Hellnotes. When he isn’t writing short stories, he is working on a full length novel. You can see his writing blog at nathanhystad.ticketyboopress.co.uk.
I saw the child in the church where he’d taken refuge. An atheist myself, I wondered at his old-fashioned notion of sanctuary.
He pretended not to see me, but I knew he could. I waited for the boy to show himself. At last he came weeping to me, another unbeliever.
Paul Jenkins is director of library services at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati Ohio.
Elizabeth reclined comfortably beside the still waters of her estate’s emerald lake. Her children laughed playfully on the grassy embankment as she smiled broadly.
Elizabeth took off the visuset and drew in a breath of dank, carcinogenic air. Five minutes for a month’s wages, but so worth it.
David R. Schulze is an EMT/Commercial Actor, because that’s a logical combination.