Stories

Stories that you can read online, right here, right now.

  • Stories

    Only the Good Ones

    Reading Time: 4 minutes They sent a Mercedes to the shelter. I tried to enjoy the leather seats and chilled water bottles. When we got to the clinic, the driver politely declined my crumpled $5 tip. I’d answered the Craigslist ad because it’d be enough to pay back the people who’d put me up, fed me, funded my stints at the methadone clinic, and supplied me with narcotics. Not all the same people, of course. There was an interview in an empty office in a strip mall, and then this. In the clinic’s reception, the fashion model behind the marble desk didn’t smile when she handed me a clipboard full…

  • Stories

    Stay in Your Homes

    Reading Time: 5 minutes Han came upon them unexpectedly, and his eyes widened behind his adapted dive mask at these people shoulder-to-shoulder in a street side dining area. It was near twilight at the bougie little bistro with wrought iron tables and chairs, and sparkling, laughing customers sipping from wine glasses and microbrewery goblets. There was even a labradoodle lying docilely under its owner’s seat.  Death swirled in the air. It emanated from their mouths with each exhale, puffed out unpredictably as they conversed, and blew twenty or thirty feet away with each sneeze. The collective disease vectors formed their own micro-climate, a general fog with currents that pooled in…

  • Stories

    Consider the Watchmaker

    Reading Time: 6 minutes Jude Heiland froze in front of the tiny black screen, with its impossible, disastrous message. After daring a look over his shoulder, he rose so his body blocked the screen from anyone else in the lab. Green letters glowed on the antiquated display: Is there anybody there? The message was clearly directed at him. Its existence, let alone what it implied, made his head spin. Fingering the metal casing of his e-cigarette in his pocket, he had an urge to vape, a habit his supervisor despised. Only ten feet behind Jude sat Dr. Houghton, about seventy, who held PhDs in microbiology and paleontology. His publications had…

  • Stories

    F.E.N.C.E.

    Reading Time: 4 minutes President Williamson and his Mexican counterpart, Ariel Mendoza, mugged for the cameras on a platform in the desert a few paces south of the border. Mendoza’s expression, Williamson thought, was impolitically sour. It was true the treaty he’d been forced to sign was highly unfavorable to Mexico and would thus end his political career. However, under-the-table arrangements would make him very rich. He seemed less than grateful. Williamson liked the optics of commemorating the occasion while standing on Mexican soil. Very Alpha. Behind him gleamed a somber line of giant white turrets, spaced at 100m intervals, which stretched from the Baja to the Gulf. This was…

  • Stories

    Dawn of the Devils

    Reading Time: 3 minutes             The squat, muscled beast gathered itself, canines bared, to leap at my throat. It was, of course, a Tasmanian Devil. The harsh noontime sun beat down as we glared at each other. Then its tiny brain decided and the compact form launched. I bent to one knee, drew my katana, and swept it in front of me.             The body fell to one side, the head fell to the other.             A scan of the desert showed no companions. I scraped a mark on my belt, drew a rag along the handcrafted blade, and headed back to my compound.             I’ll spare you the extensive…

  • Stories

    Wet Ink

    Reading Time: 4 minutes Dre finds Ivana protected by a sis-bro on each flank. Ivana’s an ice queen with platinum hair, perfect skin, and, today, Apple logos on each cheek. Wet Ink ™. All the cool kids have it.

  • Photo by Fabio Santaniello Bruun on Unsplash
    Stories

    Monsters

    Reading Time: 11 minutes Although he had never seen the— the thing—in the next room, he knew full well what it was. And that was why one such as he now quivered in enervating terror.

  • Image by Bruce Mewett from Pixabay
    Stories

    Zero Hour

    Reading Time: 6 minutes                 In the trench, it was cold, dark, and wet, and everyone knew the stillness would not last.                 Barclay, sitting on an empty ammo box, ran shaking fingers along the barrel of his Lee-Enfeld carbine. He’d seen vets obsessively clean their rifles before battle, polishing and oiling each part as if it would be inspected by Field Marshall Haig himself. It seemed to give comfort. But with his jitters any kind of fine work would be impossible.                 Lounging next to him on some sandbags, fiddling with something, was Jameson. His rifle lay propped against the earthen wall. After a moment came a click and…

  • Stories

    The Dragon Slayers

    Reading Time: 5 minutes Perisval climbed the ash-blackened trail of Gray Mountain for three days and three nights. At the summit, he found Princess Elanere, shivering, her silk gown caked with sooty residue from acid rain. Many moons had he sought her, after falling in love with her image on an ivory cameo necklace. Upon reaching her kingdom, he’d discovered she’d been given up to a dragon, and marched hard on her trail. He knelt before her chained form. “Princess, I am Perisval, your rescuer.” “My fate is already written,” Elanere said, and without looking at him, jingled a silver chain attaching her wrists to a basalt pillar. Perisval unsheathed…