If Then Else – Marco Etheridge

Week by week, month by month, time slows, and then stalls. The walls of the small garden apartment Serena shares with her husband Theo are closing in on her. She feels like a hermit crab that has outgrown its shell. There is nowhere to go: No restaurants, no cafés, no cinemas, no pubs. Date night is reduced to eating take-out kebaps from the Turkish stand, the two of them curled up on the ever-shrinking couch watching yet another DVD.

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Breakthrough – Nicholas Stillman

Reporters crammed into the chancel of the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford to see the exhumation of William Shakespeare. Those journalists with any contrition about it waited outside. The bitter nighttime breeze nudged them around, while the press inside chattered over the controversial, though legal, desecration of the playwright’s tomb.

Yet they stayed. Their eyes and cameras bore down on Langille and Faulise like a new kind of weight the church exuded. Although both scientists wore forensic white coveralls and gloves, Langille felt the bulk of the gaze. He, after all, would have to scoop out the poet’s dead dust for EM analysis. The materials would go into a hockey bag with a medical white veneer.

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Descending to Eve, Part Ten – Al Onia

Human essence accreted. The collective focused on the drive. Its appetite sated, the conduit to the other side opened. It its universe of origin, the collective’s complimentary half functioned once more. This side had become too fragmented. The passage flowed one way to provide cerebral nourishment. The battle ended with victory, wholeness and the start of a new expansion.

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Descending to Eve, Part Nine – Al Onia

The collective memory elevated consciousness. The small mind units of the past were replaced by more developed aggregates. The collective’s influence accelerated.

Alcan Border, Alaska. May, 2032

Julia turned away from the view of the scrub forest. It was cold despite spring’s sun and she held her rag coat tight. From their knoll she could see the fire smoke from nearby walkers. Their presence warmed her soul if not her flesh.

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Descending to Eve, Part Seven – Al Onia

Luis slowed his car to better view the two walkers. From a distance one appeared to be an old woman but he wasn’t sure of the other. Neither could he be sure it was safe. If he stopped completely, a gang might rush from hiding and murder him for his car. He thought of the gold hidden within and realized how vulnerable he was.

He idled beside them. One was a woman, her face not as old as her gait, the other a young girl. He would offer help, he decided. Unconsciously, he’d been searching for such a situation.

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