The eyes stared upwards. The blonde hair was caked with blood. The nose was cute even in death. The mouth held what proved to be a golf ball in a sock. The hands had typed a social security benefit disallowance.
“So where’s the rest of the body?” the detective wondered.
Irish writer Perry McDaid lives in Derry under the brooding brows of Donegal hills which he occasionally hikes in search of druidic inspiration. He even finds it on occasion.
The day I headed to Jupiter was a fine spring day. I’ll never forget my euphoria of anticipation and the fine sense of adventure as the blue Earth shrank behind me, our galaxy’s most beautiful jewel, full of dreams and life.
Too bad it was gone when I came back.
Sandra Siegienski enjoys writing science fiction/fantasy and young adult fiction. Her focus ranges from novels to six-word story contests.
My hands are sore. One good finger; the rest are in pain.
I swing my legs out of bed. My knees hardly work. Creak. Moan. Crack.
Once I get moving, the joints will be okay.
My latest target is in Italy.
One good finger. That’s all it takes.
Henry lives in Somerset in the UK, which is at the moment still part of the European Union. He eats a lot of toast.
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.
He found them everywhere. On concrete, after they’d tinked and whirled circuitously. Gleaming dully amidst weeds and moldering detritus. Plucked from jars and dishes, under and around the blinking fog lights of nametagged suspicion.
He took them to his hovel, until he’d saved enough to escape this godforsaken place forever.
Kim Hawkins is lucky to be a stay-at-home father. He loves literature, writing, playing guitar and singing, and collecting nutcrackers. Also hats. Go Cubs.
You failed your haunting final, so you are relegated to watching professionals do what you’re not licensed to do: lure the rest of your family to the shack in the woods, the one where you had your first kiss with your second girlfriend, the one where they found your body.
J. Bradley is a two-time winner of Wigleaf’s Top 50 (Very) Short Fictions. He’s the author of Neil & Other Stories (WhiskeyTit Books, 2018). He lives at jbradleywrites.com.
It wasn’t often you’d see Tillie without her broom.
From sunup to sundown she’d sweep the sidewalks, the streets, the floors of the little shack she called home.
After dark, she was nowhere to be found.
But on quiet nights, you could hear laughter as she streaked across the sky.
Susan Gale Wickes is from Indiana. Her only mode of transportation is her trusty SUV.
“Hi, honey! Welcome home. Dinner’s ready.”
“Daddy, the flying saucer’s on TV again!”
I smile. “Not hungry, but I’d love to see the saucer.”
I’m really not hungry—the human whose shape I’ve adopted was quite filling.
But I enjoy watching my ship on Earthling screens, my next meal nearby.
Maura Yzmore writes creepy fiction when she doesn’t force-feed math to college students. Find out more about her writing at maurayzmore.com or @MauraYzmore on Twitter.
“You mustn’t play in the fields between worlds,” she warned. “One false step, and whoosh! The muddy abyss’ll swallow you up.”
The children are gone, now. All that remains are the scars in the soil where they fell: a dark, infinite wasteland of holes.
Down here, we call them stars.
David-Christopher Harris published the YA fantasy short story, “Falselight”, available at dcharriswriting.com. He enjoys cranberry juice.