Alex was a deaf, mute tour guide. Today he was under with a group of twenty or so, signing to explain how, just fifty years ago, people worked in these vertical buildings stretching into the sky. In the tallest of them, the upper windows, not far underwater, were still intact.
Tom Harris is an engineer and teacher inspired by daily life. When words fill up his head, he shakes them out on virtual paper.
Icequake from the asteroid hit on Japan. The sky blotted out by dust; snow blackened; crevasses impassable. Communications dead for the past six months.
We celebrate Christmas: dinner is protein biscuits crumbled in water and our remaining brandy. The brandy warms us; later, the cold will numb us to sleep.
Mantz Yorke is a former science teacher and researcher living in Manchester, England. His poems and prose have appeared in print magazines, anthologies, and e-magazines in the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Israel, Canada, the US, Australia, and Hong Kong. His poetry collection Voyager is published by Dempsey & Windle.
You’re free to go. Although we have video of you siphoning from government tanks, a benefactor pleaded for your release. A rain-master. He spoke highly of your value, said he’d known you before the conflict, before the oceans seeped salt into every freshwater source, contaminating every lake, stream, and reservoir.
Bob Thurber is the author of “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel” and four collections of short fiction. Regarded as a master of Flash and Micro Fiction, his work has appeared in Esquire and other magazines, been anthologized 60 times, received a long list of of awards, and been utilized in schools and colleges throughout the world. He resides in Massachusetts. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
The man used to chastise the dog for drinking from scummy puddles beside the road.
That extra-hard leash-yank was what returned to him after the water was gone, when he and the dog both lapped at rare graces of liquid, the man’s knees muddied.
Eventually, the dog had to go.
Evan McMurry’s fiction has been published in more than one dozen journals, including Post Road, Euphony, Arcturus, Oddville Press, Lotus-Eater Magazine, Palaver, Mulberry Fork Review, and more. His story “Nothing Kinky” won the New Millennium Fiction Prize, and his story “Nixon in Heaven” won Exposition Review’s Flash Fiction contest. “The Fall of Rabbi Gold” was selected as a finalist for the Al-Simāk Award for Fiction from the Chicago Review of Books.
When the last M&M had been savored, she threw the candy wrapper to the wind. It scampered past empty buildings. No litter police here.
A tattered flag whipped in the gale, golden horse on a blood red field.
The war ended abruptly. The virus had killed everyone. All but her.
Hawk and Young are two sci-fi/fantasy authors, joined by a single mission – to write! We live 550 miles apart, are best friends, but have never met in person. See more at hawkandyoung.com.
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.