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 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”
The noise is back.
A slight scraping followed by a small muffled patter that disappears before they have time to make out what it is, or where it’s coming from.
“Was it footsteps?” Gemma frowns in her attempt to hear more. A deep crease has formed between her eyebrows. Continue reading “Angel Wing by B.F. Jones”
The kitchen is cold. Except by this floor vent. That’s why the table is so close to it.
The kitchen is dark too. Just lit by the lamp on the other table. Across the room.
It’s only five-fifteen, but it’s getting dark so early now. And I’ve shrunk, too,
with the winter days. It’s pointless to even try to get anything done. Continue reading “The Lord’s Suicide by Tony Gary”
The dwarf shifted in the dim light, his milky white skin glistening with sweat. Pale eyes as bleached as his skin glanced across at the bodies of his brethren and a snarl escaped softly from thin lips. He was naked except for cotton trousers and hairless but for a sheen of white down across his scalp. His legs were thick and sinewy beneath a thickset body that stood almost four feet in height.
Kassi Seishin adjusted her sword and kept her own eyes upon the squat creature before her. She was a good two feet taller than the dwarf but down here where gravity was stronger the dwarf’s larger frame assisted him in ways her wiry build did not. Managing that extra weight was hard work and all the dwarf really had to do was be patient. He was adapted to this environment in ways that Kassi was not, besides her armour sat heavily on her. She paused; confident she would not need to wait long. Dwarfs were notoriously impatient. Continue reading “Kassi and the Dungeon by Ste Whitehouse”
Smiles are fake
And this isn’t paradise
We’re stubborn and cold
Counting working bars on the electric heater
And sputtering, drinking whiskey, to warm our
Bodies and we remain indifferent in conversations
Which shouldn’t make it passed these thick walls.
Continue reading “Train Wrecks by Mark McConville”
Penn was very special to his parents, very dear, as they used to say. By the time he entered his late childhood, he had been subject to more supervision, worry and love than most kids ever were. In the view of these other kids and some adult observers (like me), his had given him the demeanour of a little prince. During his first check-up after he turned ten, I noticed that he was perfect, and perhaps this was a problem.
“There’s nothing wrong with you at all,” I said. Continue reading “The Image of His Parents by Laurence Klavan”