The Wildebeest Soul Star by Annie Rose

I learnt to walk within minutes of birth. Surely, I can manage this. Can’t I?

In front of me the long, shifting puzzle piece of rain macs and damp heads stirs. The afternoon fog is forked by the faintest glitter of lightning. Finally, after so long standing still, we all move along three paces. A light rain has wetted my muzzle. I keep shaking back locks of coarse white-tipped hair which have escaped in front of my eyes. No matter how delicately I try to tread, my steps always sound louder than everyone else’s. Continue reading “The Wildebeest Soul Star by Annie Rose”

The Kiosk by Russ Bickerstaff

I was actually kind of under the impression that I wasn’t living a game. And I knew that I’d been living a life. It was very serious. Very serious repercussions for everything. There is no questioning that. What I was questioning with my own sanity. Which is perfectly understandable under the circumstances. I first spot at the kiosk on my way into work. It was nothing out of the ordinary. I’ve seen that type of thing pop up here in there every now and then. There would be some sort of an art installation and some public square. Occasionally signs were posted for various events various public works projects. Art projects things of that nature. Things that certain people who are somehow attached to the city decided to put up various places in an effort to make it more friendly to the residence and to harness the power of creativity or whatever. That’s all I assumed it was. I wasn’t even really looking at it very closely when I passed by on my way to work. Maybe I might’ve detected something strange about it and some cents. But I don’t know. Continue reading “The Kiosk by Russ Bickerstaff”

The Law of Inevitability by Peter Ninnes

Decree 53 required all civilisations in the known universe to be prepared for Phase 5. Thus, when Thelma Yttkyd, MD, woke up and smelled smoke, she knew exactly what was expected of her. The previous year, when she lost two sisters and both her parents to the fires in the North, her rage swelled like a super nova, and she realised she had to speak up. She was rewarded with a prompt demotion from her position as Head of the Burns Unit and further humiliated when assigned to be a mop-up team leader.

Her nostrils told her the inferno had finally reached the East, the last un-scorched corner of Jordgubba’s only continent. No fear touched her heart, however, because she believed her own forecast, and knew her plan was almost foolproof. Continue reading “The Law of Inevitability by Peter Ninnes”

The Great God Pan is Dead by Mileva Anastasiadou

He’s not dead, as they claim. How can an immortal die? Pan has only transformed into winter, which makes sense, if you’re a god. Eternal life is a cycle. Mortals fool themselves, feigning ignorance, choosing to believe they own a soul immortal. Their life is a repetition of cycles that ends sooner or later, once and for all. Ours is eternal. Like sister Persephone, he descends to Underworld from time to time. Only when she goes down, he comes up.

People can barely walk in the snow. Strong winds blow above their heads. They should be at home, warming their hands by the fire, yet they walk down the street shouting, like they don’t have a home to go to. People are determined to keep on walking. They are defending something. Either their homes, their families, their lives, or their right to speak, love or walk freely. Continue reading “The Great God Pan is Dead by Mileva Anastasiadou”

Everyone Sleeps at Night by Anderson Fonseca

Translated from Portuguese by Toshiya Kamei

When the sun at last rose above the Mirante do Vale Building, and its rays pierced through the dirty windows of apartment 339, Débora woke up. It was still early, but even her cat, Beppo, had his eyes open. Only Ian – the artificial intelligence of the house – kept a watchful eye. Even so, harsh daylight seeped through gaps in the blinds, flooding each corner of the room. Débora kept her eyes closed, covered her head with one corner of the crumpled sheet, but the light crept into every crevice, illuminating the shadows. She turned from one side of the bed to the other, rolled over, and finally exclaimed, “Darn!” And she got up. When she set her feet on the floor, Ian said, “Good morning, Débora. Did you get a good night’s sleep?” His voice was like a heap of agitated ants. Continue reading “Everyone Sleeps at Night by Anderson Fonseca”

The Restless Dead by Martin Webb

The bastard alarm goes off, wrenching Seymour out of his dream. The nightmare images fade rapidly but he’s left with fleeting, barely-remembered glimpses of hideous twisted creatures. He blames the cheese puffs. He remembers being slumped in bed the previous night, snacking and watching the late news on TV. There’d been some mention of a virus, and a couple of serious looking academics had explained that the situation was worsening. The newsreader sternly announced that the filthy public were starting to riot in the streets. This was followed by images of a general panic as people ransacked supermarkets for microwave ovens and widescreen televisions. Because those were always so terribly useful in an apocalypse. Continue reading “The Restless Dead by Martin Webb”