Tag: Science fiction

Doing Better by Caragh Medlicott

The doctor fitted the silicone bracelet to my wrist on a Friday afternoon. Her silver-rimmed glasses slid down her nose as she sealed the clip with a foreign electronic device. It was new to her too, doing this, but the results were undeniable. That’s what she said.  

I walked out the building unusually alert to the sound of my footsteps, to the weight of my body pressing down in my rubber-soled shoes. There were birds chittering somewhere nearby, I thought in the bushes, and I smiled in their general direction. It was the kind of pacifying smile you give to a mother whose child is playing up, one which says: It’s okay, I understand.

Flung to the Winds Like Rain by Rick Hollon

“Tell me about my other lives, Mama.”

“That’s not a good idea, Elm.”

“I’m not a child.” I stomped away from Mother and pressed my nose against the station window. I saw my eyes, brown, angry, reflected above fog and black rocks. If I looked at the horizon I could pretend not to see the other reflections, the vast white curve of Mother’s body behind me, the other girls tumbling around me. I could pretend to be alone on this empty wet and dreary world.

Apartment 307 by E.J. Nash

I didn’t expect my upstairs neighbors to have tentacles, or to have such great taste in music. 

All I wanted was to sleep. It didn’t seem like too much to ask, but the people in the apartment above mine were constantly partying. The only upside was the music. The bass that throbbed from my ceiling was endless, although at least they chose good songs. 

I wanted to be the cool neighbor. I would pop upstairs, compliment them on their musical taste, and ask them to be quieter. No problem.

The Big Empty by Nick Olson

The body didn’t matter anymore, so it wasn’t much. Some meat. Loose skin over hard bone. A splaying of nerves, biological wires that were always ever misfiring anymore, sciatica, numbness, pain throughout the day. The body was dying, and he needed a way out of it.

There was a jackport in the city, couple models to choose from, but no power to get it running again since the collapse. All the tech in the world and nothing to see it back to life. June had always liked this city, so thoughts of her kept him company as he walked the empty streets most nights, dodging sinkholes, collapsed bridges, ancient stalled traffic to get into another store, scavenge parts, look for food for this damned body.

South Atlantic Career Change by Michael Bloor

Really, I did feel bad about neglecting the alien, but I was terribly busy at work that week. I’m a delivery driver and Christmas is our busiest time of the year. And the company cancel your Christmas  bonus if you clock-in late more than once in a month.

So, I’d just stepped out the front door that morning and there s/he (gender indeterminate) was: standing beside the bird feeder – a six foot high Giant Crab, waving her/his front claws rhythmically like giant windscreen wipers.

Scarce as Hen’s Teeth and Pot Luck Noods by Lucy Goldring

Apart from hunger, I have zip in common with Chizzy, but he’s ex-army and knows how to handle himself. It was my idea to pair. Chizzy’s a quiet one, keeps a low proaf. Literals: we’re elb-to-elb in cold grit and he’s silent as a panther. Got the same lean, muscular phys’ too. Mabes he’s stashed some weights some place and works out, sly-style. We have time apart daily so we don’t do each other’s heads in – not so long we morb-out though. There’s zip to be gained from that.  

It’s Audrey on patrol tonight, pacing back-forth on the other side of the fence. She’s ‘resplendent in Halloween green’ through Chizzy’s mil’-grade binoculars.

A Private Musical Interlude Inside a Simulacrum of Paris by David Lawrie

“Oh my god,” said Sarah, staring at the mural. “That’s exactly what I’ve been talking about.”

It was a garish Lautrec-style painting on the side of a house. The woman’s face was devoid of features – a peachy splodge under a black, lacy hat. Her dress, draping the rest of the brickwork as though dressing the house, was the brightest red. It was pulled up around her hips, white bloomers and underskirts everyplace, frills in captured motion. Dodging around the dancer’s feet were spray-paint words in broken English – Live Hard. Sex Long. Dance the Night’s Away.