To Whom It May Concern, I have received this prosthetic device in error. This package has been sent to the wrong address. I am as certain as is possible that the right arm with which I was born is still here. Although I greatly admire the innovative craftsmanship of your product, and also recognize the commendable purpose of its use, there is as yet, no evidence that suggests that I am the one that is in need of it... Read more...
Tiffany Michelle Brown
The seas, which chopped and foamed and frothed, mirrored the unrest in Layla’s belly. It had been two weeks since a ship had sailed through her territory, the rough waters inspiring captains to order detour after detour. Layla gazed at the empty horizon and willed the angry line to stop dancing, to smooth out for safe passage. When she grew tired of staring at that which she couldn’t change, Layla’s gaze dropped to her tail. The sight of it made her close her eyes and wince... Read more...
Fluttering in the Remains
Acres of junk spread over rolling hills, sprouting from the ground like a mechanized jungle. It was as sick and cluttered as the mind that had birthed it — a mirror of the self-same lunacy. There was something naked about it all, indecent. It was as dismal as ever, a little brown house balancing on stubby pillars of brick — an architectural box turtle. Window screens were tattered or missing altogether. A tin flue on the roof exhaled a coil of smoke. Pinching around the home, leaning against it, rising up behind it — the junkyard... Read more...
The Imperfect Patsy
You could make my dream come true, Mr. Poindexter. Don’t worry; you won’t have to get your hands dirty. I’ll supply everything you need. All you have to do is go to my husband’s office building, ride up in the elevator with him, and stick the hypodermic needle in his left buttock. He carries his wallet in his right hip pocket. I have a syringe in my purse. I’ll give it to you right now, if you’ll do the rest... Read more...
Nuria puts a hand on Alan's shoulder and explains, “The war with the Eastern nations is escalating. They’re calling all military personnel like that Eastern man, but to fight on our side.” I shudder and he is strangely silent as I bandage his arm. Later, the neighbor’s house is swarmed with soldiers and Nuria can’t resist. “I tried to climb the tree,” she tells us. Her face is bloodless, her eyes wide. “But I couldn’t. The Eastern man was in it and the soldiers hadn’t cut him down yet”... Read more...
The light streams into my apartment, waking me up. Phoenix doesn’t have much, but sunlight it has. I turn on the computer, and bring up the local paper’s website. Local Businessman Found Dead on Scottsdale Jogging Path. I skim. The police don’t release much information. Found dead on the path by his worried wife. Apparent gunshot victim. What I’m able glean from this story is: No witnesses. No motive. No clue. I can field strip the gun now. It’s a Ruger Mark III, 22/45 ... Read more...
Baz liked it out this way, among the Kuiper belt planets. He imagined the vacuum quieter, the light dimmer, the drift through the cosmos more peaceful. They’d left Chuapa behind a day ago, and were six days out from Sarinne. Lilly’d come to Baz with another offer. Come out with her ice gathering for three months and she’d forgive his debt. How could he refuse? If he’d known the crew compartments would stink of oil and butter chicken, he just about might have... Read more...
A Suitable Poison
The skirt of Alexis’ gleaming white tennis dress lifted in a sudden gust of wind, and a slender arm swept aside a mane of varicolored blonde hair, revealing a straight nose, full lips barely parted and gleaming teeth. Her father and our boss was Ted Braddock, a self-made millionaire turned publisher, a choleric perfectionist. Ted was convinced that his dream of creating a global publishing empire had foundered on the incompetence and laziness of his staff. His monthly magazine, advertised itself as “a finger on the pulse of commerce.” It was actually a boiler-room hell whose employee turnover nearly matched its subscriber base... Read more...
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