Training Terrence by Peter Caffrey

‘I’ll be honest, Celia; the sex is fantastic, but when it comes to social situations, he can be a right dick. He’s juvenile; everything ends up being an innuendo. Phallic objects need to be avoided. I cringe if there’s anything around that’ll prompt the inevitable waggling in his groin area. Carrots, cucumbers, French loaves, bananas; you name it, he does the knob joke thing. Going to the supermarket is a nightmare. If I manage to steer him away from anything cock-like, he makes a beeline for the melons, picks two up and bounces them in his hands while smirking. In truth, I’ve given up. If we’re not having sex, he stays in the wardrobe.’ Continue reading “Training Terrence by Peter Caffrey”

Zed by Ste Whitehouse

Subject Theta had died for 197 seconds. I sat back and quickly confirmed the ECG readings and then looked over his blood works. O2 was obviously low, CO2 higher than the norm. A slight imbalance of electrolytes as the body fought against cellular death. The insignificant chemical trace of the potassium used to stop his heart. Nothing vastly dissimilar from the other twenty seven staged ‘deaths’ we’ve run through here.

I checked his viral load. No sign of the HR2ZV activating at all. Considering the horrific effects this retro virus has wrought on mankind its bloody hard to motivate it into working. I checked Subject Theta’s timeline. The cocktail of drugs were administered at 10:45am. His controlled descent into death came at 10:51. Defibrillation was commenced at 10:54 or 180 seconds after time of death. One shot, 75 joules and the subjects heart restarted as planned. Just like clockwork; but the damned Human Romero Type 2 Zombie Retro Virus did not activate. Continue reading “Zed by Ste Whitehouse”

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”

Square-Eyed in Block 6 by Darcy Lin Wood

It took most of the evening, but three tenants from Block 6 finally broke through the barred door into the long-abandoned basement flat.

‘That’s it — we’re through,’ said Jack, the burly building manager. He wiped muck from his face as he lowered the sledgehammer to the carpet. Sweat clung to his chest like a bib.

Dust settled and the door lay in splinters before them. The beige apartment beyond was exposed.  Continue reading “Square-Eyed in Block 6 by Darcy Lin Wood”

Operation Loch Ness by C.R. Berry

August 14th 2164

No, please no.

The synthesiser toppled over the edge of the refreshment trolley. The secretary lunged to catch it, but gravity beat him and the machine met the floor with a crack.

Mark two synthesisers were known for being temperamental (and cheap), so he suspected he’d broken it. Picking it up, he placed a cup in the dispenser to test it: “Coffee, white.”

The synthesiser acknowledged his request with a beep and liquid flowed into the cup. He removed it, looked at the contents, smelled it. “Fan-bloody-tastic.” The device had given him hot cherryade—the coffee files were corrupted. Continue reading “Operation Loch Ness by C.R. Berry”

The Weight on Your Shoulder by Liz Xifaras

You are not afraid of spiders.

The one on the bathroom wall has a body as big as your thumbnail; glossy, iridescent. Legs stretching like black wire over white tile.

A bath of steaming clear water waits. Book lies on the side, pages curling in the heat. Mug of tea ready.

You are not afraid but you remove the spider all the same. Fetch a glass from the bedside table, a cardboard coaster. Blue with a silhouette of an orangutan printed on. Souvenir from that trip to the zoo when you held the hand of a love now lost, let yourself dream of returning one day in a wished-for future with your child. Smooth, stubby fingers held in yours. Round eyes staring at the animals. Blink that memory away now. Continue reading “The Weight on Your Shoulder by Liz Xifaras”