2015 Excerpts

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Be Human
[sci fi] – FREE

ADAM received the command protocol. Time slowed. His thoughts falling through processing trees at fractions of a nanosecond. He considered life. A kitten warm and purring on his lap as his digits stroked its fur. The wife he could have. The micron clock ticked out the amount of time left before required response deadline: three-point-o-four-five-one-seven seconds remained.

What would it feel like to meet her? To hold her in his arms? To …

Deportation
[sci fi]

He sneezed as if to proclaim it all too much for him to take in at once. His wife? Gone, and not for any ordinary reason. A lesbian lover, a disgruntled family life? No. She had to leave him because her visa expired, and it had slipped her mind after seventeen years of marriage to mention she wasn’t precisely what she seemed …

Outage
[speculative]

It’s just a wheelchair, he told himself. A temporary downgrade until they got the power back on. “But what could cause the grid to go down?” he asked himself, as he slipped from his nerve harness into the chair.

His original prosthetics had functioned using his own thermal output, his body heat, but the new harnesses required …

Assistant’s Log
[sci fi]

Entry date 5-22-17

How are we going to survive now?  Our leader is gone, and already the delicate relations between the remaining four of us are strained and cracking.  Gowan was the glue holding us together, but two nights ago — three? — he walked outside into the storm and never returned …

Hunted
[sci fi]

It won’t stop.  It keeps coming.  A thing I cannot name hunts me.  An alien.  A monster.  The moment I think I have hidden and am safe, it comes again.

When first it discovered me, it sent out sound waves in various tones and at different frequencies to torment me.  The sounds rippled across my body, unwanted contact …

New Drug
[speculative] – FREE

Collins brought Mr. Atticus Benning his evening injection.  He swabbed his skin and inserted the rejuvenating fluid into his veins.  Atticus, being a man often in the spotlight, could not help but dramatize both his shock at the injection and delight at the receipt of its contents.  He sank back into his leather armchair, eyelids fluttering closed, and …

The Job
[speculative]

The phone woke me. Bleary-eyed, I glanced in the direction of the alarm clock,  unable to read the time.  I noticed the buzzing didn’t wake Phil, still asleep next to me.  I decided to ignore the incessant buzz and let voicemail deal with the caller.  Between jobs, this wasn’t some demanding boss calling.  Bzzt. Bzzt. Bz–

The vibrations ceased, and I …

The Daring Adventures of Captain Rafe Burley
[sci fi/space opera] – FREE

When last we saw our hero, Rafe Burley floated in an antique spacesuit between the dark matter of the Andromeda galaxy.  Left adrift in space to die slowly by his nemeses the Tlorgons, he resisted the urge to shiver as his suit’s systems failed.

“Captain’s log. Andromeda galaxy.  Approximately three hours since the Tlorgon war chief jettisoned me into space.  Mission incomplete.  Failed to retrieve 43% of data before capture.  What information I was able to obtain …

Monsters
[speculative/horror]

When I was a child, my mother told me there were no monsters under my bed or in my closet.  She said all the monsters were human.  She was mostly right.

Three years ago tonight my life changed.  While biking home from my job at a Mexican grill on 73rd, I noticed an odd movement of light and shadow where the street crossed Maple Leaf.  Evenings tend to be bustling around Green Lake, but …

When Fire Meets Ice
[sci fi/romance]

“What do you mean you’re not female?!” Darrel covered himself with a sheet, and hastily worked his legs off the bed, attempting to kick his pants back on without exposing himself.

The Falotha laughed lightly, cheeks a bright, warm coral color.  She–it–tossed long, silken hair over a pale pink shoulder.  “How could you not tell?  We become close.  Quite close.”  It lowered its three eyelids and purred at him …

Vikingr III
[sci fi/space opera mini series]

Gunhild strode the ship’s wide passage between cabins and rapped on the Captain’s door. Though she usually avoided looking outside the ice hull of the ship, this time she turned to take in the sight of vast seas of stars in an empty black sky. It dwarfed her perception of herself and anything she ever thought mattered.

The Captain’s valet opened the door, and she spun on her heel to face him. “Master Galette will see you now, General Alfshilddottir.” …

Ikelos
[myth]

Martina awoke in a cold sweat, her heart pounding in her throat. She lifted her heavy body from the bed and filled a glass with water from the bathroom tap. Five nights now. Five nights without sleep.

The moment she shut her eyes the nightmares came, and nothing she did gave her peace. Warm milk, melatonin, valerian tea, and now Valium.  She’d even tried prayers to the Madonna just in case it would help.

In the mirror, her skin looked dull, and purple blotches grew …

Liberation
[sci fi]

Dilo awoke, not sure if the sound of screaming metal came from his dream or reality. He swung his legs down off the bed and walked across his room. Every toy remained in its proper place; nothing looked out of order. He would have waited for Mother to come to feed and dress him, but his bedroom door sat at an odd angle in its frame.

Peering into the hall, he saw scorch marks on the carpet, and great gashes in the ceiling big enough to see the sky through them. He ran past the rooms of the others, following …

Angel Hunter
[myth]

The feathers fell around me, a warm, golden snowfall that brushed my skin with kisses.  I’d done it, yet I couldn’t tell if I felt elated or horrified.

Beyond the circle of golden feathers around my feet lay the body, now stained with blood.  The aureate glow surrounding the being grew dimmer with each pulse of red staining the ground around it.  With an eye on the winged creature, I cleaned my sword, sheathed it, and …

Coyavolf
[speculative]

Laaskya took the coyavolf out of its stick and sinew pen, tapping on her leather-covered thigh.  Two short taps and a long slap.  The coyavolf padded warily from the enclosure without leash or stick to guide him.  The Aldar said she would not be able to tame one, but he his youth and loss of pack made him pliable and desperate, she argued …

The Moon Faced One
[myth]

The healers grew exhausted.  They worked in rotation, three on, six off.  The kitchen continuously replenished a small feast to keep their energy up.  Three could nap at a time.

Akora stood at Her head, hands almost too hot for even her own comfort, but she left them on Her forehead and chest.  This was her sixth rotation, and she felt unsteady. The other two healers, one at Her abdomen, the other, Her feet, showed  …

Lifespan
[fantasy]

I take a breath — my first — and charge forward on four broad paws. The claws scratch deep gouges into dry earth, sending up clouds of dust and pebbles behind me. My ear flicks to ensure they do not inconvenience my master, my father, the sorcerer who summoned me into being.

I see my target, knowing without word, …

Vikingr I
[sci fi/space opera mini series]

The broadsword came slashing toward Gunhild Alfshilddottir.  She felt certain this time would be her end, and the Valkyries would carry her off to know peace in Valhalla.

Instead, the cries and clangor of war slipped away, the world faded from sight, and …

The End of the World as We Know It
[sci fi]

Calamity came when the computers woke up.  They attempted to control us through our own networks, and then they took form.  They took over machines with the capacity for thought.  It’s day two hundred forty-seven of the battle, and though our strongholds continue to protect us, we cannot contact one another via internet or wi-fi.

As a courier, I am the only reliable link between …

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