Oaths by Salvador J. Ojeda

Oaths Salvador J. Ojeda Avor Antos stared at the envelope given to him by Commander Briav, nearly crumpled against his chest. It had the border and seal of a discharge that was neither honorable nor standard. “Commander, you can’t be serious!” His commander, Balinor…

The Time Capsule By Lisa Pais

The Time Capsule By Lisa Pais Earth. 2315. Moving with appropriate swiftness, which is neither graceful nor clumsy, I make my way along the shoreline. Precise. Efficient. Perhaps there is beauty to be found in economy. There is no need to hurry. Time has…

Fear’s Hold

Summer: 14 years at the Monastery, Spring, four months after attempting to fly Water cascaded down the not-quite vertical face of the Babbling Wall. Sunar’s stomach clenched almost painfully as he stood in one of his favorite spots; on the path which led up…

Episode 9: The Mission Before the Mouse

I needed to get the monster down from the wall. It panted, licking the wound on one of its arms – thinking it was safe. It was our job to make sure it wasn’t. Glancing around, I spotted some straws and pipe cleaners on…

Angry Man by Jodi Rizzotto

Angry Man Jodi Rizzotto “Will you come and visit me in prison?” my coworker whispered over the cubicle wall. At first I didn’t know what to say. Perhaps this was a test, an initiation into deeper levels of friendship. Dreading what I would see,…

Outside the Situation: Achromatic Afterlife by Ada Fetters

Outside the Situation: Achromatic Afterlife Ada Fetters “Welcome to Outside the Situation with F(x) and the Dimensional Remnant.” Each word of the greeting was precisely enunciated. “Every week we sample a defunct universe. We visit tumultuous multiverses, glitchy simulated infinities, and pocket dimensions with…

Fear’s Caution

Summer: 14 years at the Monastery, Spring, two months after attempting to fly Sunar leaned over the windowsill from which he’d attempted to jump two months and a lifetime before. A strong breeze wafted through the window. Warm, but with a hint of changing…

Episode 8: Bogoloblin

Each of us held onto Reginald’s feathers with all four paws. The crow’s route was indirect, according to the emphatic directions that Dell Grim shouted, and Reginald ignored. The fearless bird carried us low into rush-hour traffic, weaving erratically between the cars. Darkness was…

Escape Pod by Christopher Kell

Escape Pod Christopher Kell Drogue has a twisted body. So twisted she skitters sideways through the cargo hold like a crab in the oceans of Earth. But in reduced gravity she can move as fast as any woman or man. Her head is large…

Doppelganger in the Loop by Gary Inbinder

Doppelganger in the Loop Gary Inbinder I Paul sat on a weather-beaten wooden bench in the middle of the platform. He glanced at his wristwatch; it was a quarter to six in the morning. Dull, yellowish electric bulbs glowed eerily in lamps lining the…

Aristotles of Flesh and Bone by J.S. Helgerson

Aristotles of Flesh and Bone J.S. Helgerson The teacher started life in the tank behind the chalkboard at 8:22 am. Children had been filing into the classroom for the last fifteen minutes, and their quiet chatter filled the air. First bell was at 8:30….

Larrs’ Ghost by Christopher Kell

Larrs’ Ghost Christopher Kell 1980… Larrs still haunts his make-believe world; he warms his feet on the glittering sands, dodging the bubbling surf like a child. By donning a bio-interface, Larrs’ intricate program will reveal his carefully constructed world to anyone who wishes to…

Why the Sea is Salt as retold by Edward Ahern

Why the Sea is Salt retold by Edward Ahern This is a retelling of and homage to “Why The Sea Is Salt”, from the 1904 book, Popular Tales From the Norse by George Webbe Dasent. The language is modern but the spirit is hopefully…

Nemo on the Shore by Gary Inbinder

Nemo on the Shore Gary Inbinder “To say ‘He was a young fool, and now he’s an old fool’ is to make a distinction without a difference.” — Kafka the Cat The time was May in the not too distant past; the place, a…

Outside the Situation by Ada Fetters

Outside the Situation Ada Fetters “Welcome to Outside the Situation with F(x)  and the Dimensional Remnant.” Each word was as precise and discrete as a series of numbers. “Every week we sample a defunct universe.  We visit tumultuous multiverses, glitchy simulated infinities, and pocket dimensions with…

Baba Yaga retold by Ed Ahern

This is a substantial retelling of a tale from an undated book printed in the 1800’s, “Old Peter’s Russian Tales” by Arthur Ransome Baba Yaga As retold by Ed Ahern Baba Yaga is a witch with iron teeth like poker and tongs that she…

Episode 7: Reginald Crazywing

    We went out onto the nearest ledge to hail a bird, but there were already several mice in line at the pigeon stand. One mouse shivered beneath his black, speckled coat. “We’re freezing our whiskers off out here!” He shook his head….

Teacher’s Price

Summer: 14 years at the Monestary, Spring, the day after attempting to fly Master Ikthan stood in the bedroom doorway, his cold disapproval smothering what warmth Sunar and his friends had felt. The other boys gave Sunar quick glances of sympathy and fear, nodded,…

Officer Rosie by Gary Clifton

Officer Rosie Gary Clifton “Well, well, Rebound, you’ve finally managed to end up sitting pretty.” Taylor soft-footed into the shabby room with boarded up windows where Rebound sat duct-taped to an old chair. Rebound sobbed, “Taylor, this ain’t funny. You gotta help me, dude….

Selfies by Rob Dinsmoor

Selfies Rob Dinsmoor Terra and I are almost like identical twins. When I first met her, she was, like nobody. Don’t get me wrong—like me, she had a killer bod and pretty face, but there was just no real personality shining through. I took…

The Adventures of Rabbit as retold by Ed Ahern

The Adventures of Rabbit retold by Ed Ahern This is a retelling of a folk tale recorded by Charles Leland in The Algonquin Legends of New England , published in 1884. Of the old times. Some indian tribes called him Mahtiguess, the rabbit, but…

Mister Sunshine by Col Aalberry

Mister Sunshine Col Aalberry The rain pours down, cascading off the gargoyle’s head, flowing past stone claws, dropping in streams. A hand reaches up, grabs the gargoyle confidently, holds tightly. The hand only has three long fingers. A thin body pulls itself upwards over…

Episode 6: Gearing Up

Beatrice Brownbrow dropped to all fours and wiggled through a hole into another passage. She poked her head back through and blinked. “This way!” I took her paw, squeezed through onto the top of a pipe, and, as I scurried after her, I glanced…

Titanic Bonds

Sunar talked with his sister for some time. For the most part he let her ramble. She had been bottling a lot of emotion while he had been unconscious, so he provided her a sounding board and let her get it all out. After…

Wooing Wohpe – a retelling of an Oglala Sioux myth by Ed Ahern

Wooing Wohpe* As retold by Ed Ahern In the old time, the Oglala Sioux spent the warm seasons scattered and wandering. But once The Moon That Makes the Leaves Yellow came, they traveled to a sheltered valley where they camped through the winter. There…

Vortex Blues by Jason DeGray

Vortex Blues Jason DeGray A payphone rang in the middle of nowhere. A lone silent sentinel hearkening back to a time long forgotten. The paint on the aluminum side panels had chipped and flaked so badly the ads were no longer visible. A frayed…

Misdirection in Oz by Herb Kauderer

Misdirection in Oz Herb Kauderer The Tin Woodsman used his newly received brain to remember all the many citizens of Oz who passed him by while he was rusted still in the fields. But the unsolved serial killings didn’t begin until his epiphany that,…

Typographical Archvillain by Herb Kauderer

Typographical Archvillain Herb Kauderer   The punctuation thief began as an apprentice in a printing shop, but sneaking in illicit edits was not enough to satisfy his urges.   He escalated his attacks — leading a movement of minimalist poetry dedicated to the simplicity…

Criminal Evolutions by Herb Kauderer

Criminal Evolutions Herb Kauderer   Looking backward she cannot trace the path of her career from college to criminal justice, to forensics, to blood-stain splatter analysis, to autopsy technician, and finally to forensic entomology, (the study of insects growing in corpses), to this terrifying…

Campaign Platform by Herb Kauderer

Campaign Platform Herb Kauderer Drunk on moonlight, they played and danced across grassy hills to the river’s banks. The night was a living painting in ten thousand shades of white. They spoke then of promises. A pact of three. One day, Mars, would be…

Episode 5: The Micean Council

  The guards removed a wine cork from the outer wall, revealing a narrow hole. Dell motioned with his arm. “After you.” We crawled inside, and the guards replaced the cork, leaving us in warm, dark quiet. Snowflakes scattered from our fur as we…

Sister’s Confidence

Summer: 14 years at the Monastery, Spring, the day after attempting to fly Sunar woke slowly, despite his best efforts. He tried to bring his mind to alertness, but found himself groggy. He lay on his stomach, and everything hurt. Was I knocked out…

a recollection of dust devils by Herb Kauderer

a recollection of dust devils Herb Kauderer below Mars’ surface first colony remains are left to dream

A Fold in Time by Bryan Aiello

A Fold in Time Bryan Aiello Wind whispers through the cave. It tastes of the sea and makes Samuel Toddy think of fresh fish. The Mediterranean is only ten miles North and Sam can’t help but look up from his work. He can smell…

Episode 4: They Sent an Owl

I woke from a months-long sleep in my tunnels to the sound of something large landing on the surface above me. I swiveled my ears and detected something much smaller landing near it. A muffled voice: “Eve? Eve Pixiedrowner? Are you down there?” THAT…

Mother’s Word

Mother’s Word Summer: 14 and a half years at the Monastery Sunar sat with his head against the wall and tried to process the pain. It felt like every muscle in his back, wings, and chest had caught fire. He barely registered the sound…

Winner Winner by David Castlewitz

Winner Winner by David Castlewitz Dinner with the star of Madam Murder didn’t meet Tony Pink’s expectations. When he complained to the director, he got back a long stare followed by a mild chuckle. “She’s not real, you know. She’s a cartoon.” The cast…

The Fattest Cat’s Car Keys by Kendall Evans

The Fattest Cat’s Car Keys By Kendall Evans The sound a thunderous final exclamation of the world    mountainous boulders rolling down slopes in a place where mountains will be no longer     constant din of objects falling from the sky      impacting earth     …

The Day

Summer: 14 and a half years at the Monastery Sunar started awake, but managed to feign continued sleep. It only took a moment for him to find what he’d heard: his sister’s breathing. “How did you get in here without waking me, and why…

Child’s Tail

Monastery: 14 years since Sunar’s arrival Sunar and three of his friends wandered through the monastery’s hallways, headed no where in particular, enjoying a few hours of free time between summer lessons. They were keeping a small, sand-filled ball in the air by batting…

The Campground Faerie

Lots of people fantasize about having a home in the woods, living off the land, close to nature. I actually get to do it. I live in a small hole, close to a human campsite, in Gatineau park, a large, mountainous, wooded area outside…

A Name

Sunar did not know how long he sat crying. He let everything wash away in the flood of tears; the pain, the childish ideals, and, finally, the pride. It seemed an eternity before the it stopped. He felt tired, as if he had performed…

Commission by Alan Katerinsky

Commission Alan Katerinsky Secretary General Hsu nervously picked up his phone on the third ring. “Speak,” he said, as though giving orders to an uncooperative dog. The line was silent for the usual few seconds that the electronically voiced translator needed to work its…

Chronicle of a Friendship Doomed by Mileva Anastasiadou

Chronicle of a Friendship Doomed Mileva Anastasiadou We had been expecting them for a long time. On the news, they mentioned the long awaited encounter almost every single day. Until one day, they stopped. When people began wondering, the government made a reassuring announcement,…

Dawn Tree

Sunar allowed his gaze to wander as he sat in meditation. The valley between the four peaks in shadow behind him, the plains leading to the mountain spread out before him, and Master Ikthan sat next to him. He’d tried to concentrate on pushing…

Ending Denial

    Sunar carried the breakfast tray into his parent’s room. He had to contain his excitement in order to keep from spilling the orange juice. Today. Today, his sister would be born. Today, he would show them all. She would be just like him,…

Unquestionably a moon or an Asteroid by Kendall Evans

Unquestionably a moon or an Asteroid Kendall Evans Within this circle or sphere that I look upon, an ash-colored formation, lozenge shaped, not quite oval, in the lower right quadrant – indicative of different terrain?  I imagine myself with my eye pressed to the…

Satyrday Night Special by Diana Davis

Satyrday Night Special Diana Davis     “Read `em and weep!” The deuce went into the discard pile. “Full house, with three gods and two towers.”       I sent a silent thanks to Tyche, the goddess of luck. She’s been my main goddess for…

Defiant Anticipation

Sunar moved slowly through his morning katas, keeping his motions synced with the rest of the children. They stood in the Dawn Court, moving from position to position in unison, setting their tempo by the adept’s walking staff as he tapped out a rhythm…

Matthew’s Diary by John C. Mannone

Matthew’s Diary John C. Mannone Matthew tosses in his sleep, sits up on the rumpled canvas in his wedge-tent, and cradles his face. He stares into the crevices of the dark corner. The moon throws his lanky shadow on the other wall; he is…

Discovery

          Sunar ran a hand down the edge of each wing, and pushed against them with his hands. He felt a tiny bit more resistance, and a little more resilience, than last week. It had been six months, an entire six months, since he’d…

Flying Mind

    Sunar sat, trying to concentrate on the feeling of the morning sun on his skin, rather than his sixth birthday party, while matching the breathing of Master Ikthan beside him. His friends had enjoyed the party as much as he had, for which…

Sounds of Children

        Three glass cups sat upon a bench in the sunken Children’s Court of the monastery, about twenty feet away from five-year-old Sunar’s intent stare. What little attention not focused on the glasses before him made brief note of his teacher beside him. He…

Wounded Acceptance

     A sniffling sound came from Sunar. Iktahn turned to see a horrified expression on the boy’s face, eyes locked on the blood trickling from his mother’s ear. Sunar stood there, wings still clutched in his hands, mouth agape, eyes like dinner plates. Ikthan…

The Sneeze Heard Round the Universe by Daniel R. Jones

The Sneeze Heard Round the Universe Daniel R. Jones It’s hard to call any position in the Intergalactic Starforce a “cushy job,” but if there was an easier role, Colonel Scyruh couldn’t imagine it. 16 years of grunt work had finally earned him his…

Winged Demands

    Master Ikthan entered the home of Tanu and Katja. He found Sunar already in the other room, engrossed in playing with his blocks, and Dr. Soren waiting.     Katja started to speak, but hesitated, exchanged a look with her husband, and Tanu spoke,…

Last Girl by CB Droege

Last Girl CB Droege The town was surrounded by a thick wall of refuse. Most towns were. They had protected themselves against the wilderness by piling up anything they could find between the buildings at the outskirts. Often more walls divided the town inside…

Until Dawn

     Master Ikthan, leader of the four-peaks temple, listened with an uneasy heart as his friends and charges, Katja and Tanu, explained their concerns for Sunar to himself and Sarah, Katja’s mother. He felt glad that they had come to him for council, for…

The Trouble with Unsolicited Messages By Richard H. Fay

The Trouble with Unsolicited Messages Richard H. Fay “We have a genuine extraterrestrial signal,” a SETI technician announced excitedly as he adjusted the knob on the receiver. Every scientist in the crowded dark room gathered closer as a series of strange cosmic messages came…

Father Ryan’s Fright by Richard H. Fay

Father Ryan’s Fright Richard H. Fay Originally published in Anotherealm, November 2013 One Sunday morn many years ago, in a small church well outside of Dublin town, Father Ryan stood in the pulpit and railed against belief in the Little People. The priest scolded…

Winged Walking

Katja could not keep her hand from rubbing the sharp tip at the top of her ear while she watched her adopted two-year-old, half-dragon, son Sunar learn to walk. Most kids his age could walk proficiently, and watching his struggles brought her hand back…

Sunar

     Master Ikathan knelt in the small gazebo atop the Four Peaks Temple and watched the sun set over the plains. The distant whine of a turbine made its way to his ears and tried to disturb his meditation. He ignored it, continuing to…

The Battle Ward by Neil Q. Green

The Battle Ward Neil Q. Green Another trebuchet strike against the walls. The room rang like bell. Dust fell from somewhere and settled on my neck. The accumulated grit from the day’s bombardment chaffed and I missed, yet again, the ability to move my…

If Only by Fearadhach MecRaudri

If OnlyFearadhach MecRaudri She walked up to her desk with leaden feet. To her ears each step echoed off the walls like a hammer on an anvil, deepening the pit in her stomach. If only she could do more, knew more, had fewer restraints…

True Believers by Fearadhach MecRaudri

True Believers Fearadhach MecRaudri Fizzblit tried to ignore the stink of ozone from his ship’s fried controls. He found it hard to concentrate on the decrypted communications scrolling across the holo-screen his personal c&c (Comms and Computer) had projected above his wrist, thankful that…

The Sedra Anomaly by Lyn McConchie

The Sedra Anomaly Lyn McConchie      Sstha stood on the bridge of The Farseeker. His captain was down on Sedra and would be gone for at least two more days, and for that time, the command of the ship was his. He walked over…

The Office of Special Claims by Lyn McConchie

The Office of Special ClaimsLyn McConchie      “Ms Appleton, I think this application may have something wrong with it.”            Susan sighed. Really, the quality of staff these days. Three months in the Accident and Special Claims office, and they thought they knew it…

Geppetto’s Redemption by Neil Q. Green

Geppetto’s Redemption Neil Q. Green Geppetto slipped the final gear into place and tightened the last screw. Finished. He sat back and viewed his creation. Fifteen years and all his reputation, that’s what this little thing had cost him. But oh if it worked!…

The Books of Hoth by Lyn McConchie

The Books of Hoth Lyn McConchie Allied Combine Space Patrol Sector 3, Sub-sector 12, Planet Guard  Sq.P 5.   Dear Mother,      Sorry I haven’t been able to get a letter to you recently, but now reporters have the story as H.Q. has lifted…

Letters Home by Lyn McConchie

Letters HomeLyn McConchie Day three of our Invasion. Dear Mother,     It won’t be long before our soldiers are home again. It’s lucky that I’m the General’s secretary. I have a fine (and safe) view of our war, but I am in a position to…

Pride and Joy by Gustavo Bondoni

Pride and JoyGustavo Bondoni Myrna signaled that she wanted to get off the bus. The driver eyed her in the mirror, his face registering surprise, “Whatcha want to get off here for?” he asked. “There ain’t nothing around.” It was true. This stretch of…

Darkness Ends by Gustavo Bondoni

Darkness Ends by Gustavo Bondoni Tita Livia Siriana basked in the silence. Her audience, composed of the best and brightest great leaders of the great families of both inner and outer Empires, hung on her every word. She’d barely begun to speak, but the…

Tenth Orbit by Gustavo Bondoni

Tenth Orbit by Gustavo Bondoni Winter. There is no motion. The feeble energy arriving from the distant star is not enough to support motion, yet move I must. Survival is dependant on movement, as winter does not allow sufficient energy accumulation to survive the…