Descending to Eve, Part Three – Al Onia

Mexico City outskirts.

Carlos Ramirez felt the insect crawling across his face and brushed it away without opening his eyes. Sleep was a relief and difficult to abandon. The truck in which they rode jostled over the uneven road and he was at last forced fully awake. A cabbage rolled onto his lap. He rubbed his eyes and sat up. He looked at the rest of his family riding in the back of the produce truck. Elena cradled the two youngest children in her arms with the older three nestled beside her. Julia was the only one with her eyes open. They had been open last night when he finally drifted off.

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Descending to Eve, Part Two – Al Onia

Sharon cursed and fought the steering wheel. “Lord a’mighty,” she cried, the ruts almost tearing the wheel from her hands. The path that passed for a road was much worse than the month before; the previous evening’s rains beginning the damage yet to come. The highways were not much better. The hard-topping of the pavement resisted total erosion only in the center of the road forcing drivers to make their own way in the ditches more often than not. She swerved off into the brush to avoid the remains of a broken-down motor coach. How had the driver found this road? she wondered.

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Descending to Eve, Part One – Al Onia

Olduvai Gorge, Western Rift, Tanzania. September, 2028

Pierre Archambault stopped his hammering to wipe the sweat from his brow. The wind did not cool. During the day, it carried the heat from the rocks surrounding his site. During the night, it carried the songs from the tourist camps. 

He stared across the valley at the dark, broken rocks of the landscape and tried to remember what this valley, his valley, had been like before the tourists came. The vision shimmered, as uncertain of its own reality as he was of his memory. There was always the wind, not so long ago lifting the scents and sounds of the great Serengeti herds. The herds were gone, migrated to new pastures with the increase in visitors and tremor activity. Now, Pierre smelled the cooking from the camps and heard the mindless songs repeated endlessly through the dark, warm nights.

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Apocalyptic Visions – Mike Adamson

Her first vision had been of a car crash at the end of her street, when she was five, but it may have been coincidence–just a child’s dream. The next, the passing of a neighbour’s pet, a year later, cast doubt on scepticism, and when at eight she foretold the death of a school master her parents placed her in the care of a psychiatrist. Beth Trudeau was special, and her whole life through she had lamented the loss of the innocence that comes from ignorance.

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Wishmaker – Kaitlyn Reese

The wind left footprints on my walls as the stars left broken wishes hanging off my lips. Tomorrow was the first day of fifth grade and I wasn’t even going – I couldn’t. The sinewy air was choking me enough that I couldn’t eat. I felt the tension like I was a rope but somehow, I couldn’t sense what was coming next.  

Breath. The sound echoed off my room’s starry atmosphere.  

Breath. I released it like I wished I could release my pain.  

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Who the Hell is Freddy Stanton? – Mike Murphy

Nine American cities were attacked in the first hour. Among the rubble and twisted metal lay many thousands of corpses, all glowing an eerie pink from the Kilparkians’ quantum bombs. The aliens’ triangular ships hovered high in the air, waiting to send down more death. The allies tried to assist, but their weapons were swatted from the sky.

President Cooper had no choice but to unconditionally surrender. Lt. Donald Berkner sent the message skyward. It didn’t take long for the aliens to respond. 

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Beacon – Gina Burgess

Tom stared at a greeting card of a chubby man in a red suit with a face obscured by a beard. Tom had heard of beards, but he’d never seen one. Only grown-ups could grow them.

He looked to Anna, the closest person he’d ever known to a grown-up. She was busily taping cardboard over the broken windscreen of a rusty, roadside car, which was to be their brand-new home. Earlier, glass fragments and crimson stains had covered the seats. Anna had sent Tom away until she’d cleaned.

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The Protector – Tom Howard

Smoky, Sir Reginald Immodeus Alexander and forty-seven other names from his long and illustrious lineage, sat on the kitchen table watching a flitzard taking shape.  The fibrous creatures couldn’t take form if they were watched, and this one struggled before it died a frustrated death. Flitzards affected human brains, making people fuzzy and distracted.  Smoky’s human charge, Charlie, acted fuzzy enough already.

“Listen, Smoky.”  Charlie peered over his newspaper.  “It says here domesticated cat brains are shrinking.  You have a walnut-sized brain.”

Smoky licked his paws to show how credible he found the newspaper article.  He wished Charlie would take his bike off the wall and leave. His twitching whiskers predicted something bad was coming through from the other side, and the sooner Charlie was out of the battle zone, the better.

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