The holly bush was small, no more than three feet high, its glossy green leaves glinting in the low afternoon sun which slanted between the trees. It struggled for air and light, surviving on what escaped the great oaks and beeches and elms around it. The air had a dry taste of earth and moss and mushroom. The wood was quiet, with sometimes a rustle as a squirrel clambered up a tree, or the unmistakable sound of a woodpecker. When dusk approached the birds would chatter and argue as they prepared to roost.Continue reading “If Man Is Dead, Everything Is Possible – Walter Milner”
“It happened again I tell you! It really did! I was abducted by the giant aliens, the same ones as last time!”
Not this again….
“There I was, minding my own business, just grabbing a bite when I felt a searing pain. I was frozen in terror, paralyzed! And just like before, I was drawn up into the sky! I was so scared I could barely breath!”
“Giant aliens…rigghht…uh, Dave….”Continue reading “Perspective is Everything – Robert B. Allen”
“What color moth do you want?”
The old man and his visitor sat on hassocks covered with a leather that was dark and cracked with age, in the spare mountain hut. They sipped autumn flush tea, savoring the amber liquid’s musky flavor, while the old man readied himself to deliver his lecture for the thousandth time.
“I don’t understand” replied the visitor, confused. “I want the best quality moth that you can sell me so my son will be a worthy successor. As I told you already, I am prepared to pay your price.” He was attired in the costume of a Mongol fighting man: a heavy fur-lined green coat fastened at the waist by a leather belt encrusted with jewels, from which hung his sword and a dagger. The man was young, but projected power and ferocity.Continue reading “The Lunar Moth – Matias Travieso-Diaz”
For an Underground station Putney Bridge is peculiarly ill-placed. For a start it’s around thirty feet up in the air. The District Line, of which it’s part, only becomes subterranean ten minutes or so up the track to Earl’s Court. Between there and here it’s an aerial ride through the rooftops, roof terraces and loft conversions of trendy Fulham. A moment or two southward and it even leaves the tiles and slates behind and sails over the grey waters of the Thames, past flickering bridge struts and glimpses of the river’s broad sweep towards Wandsworth.
No wonder the platform was so bloody cold.Continue reading “Swapsies – Gerald Cole”
I don’t think that there’s any reason to panic. I mean the whole thing is kind of strange quite honestly and I don’t know what time to expect to happen. It’s all very strange. Of course there seems to be more things going on. I get the feeling that the sun is coming up soon. The shadows seem to be traveling in strange directions at strange angles with a very peculiar sense of velocity. I don’t doubt that there’s some kind of strange behavior about the light here. That kind of ends up being the state of things. It feels like I’m off planet even though I know I’m not, but the whole thing ends up being more than a little strange.Continue reading “Languishing – Russ Bickerstaff”
John Gage stepped through the double doors of the Seaside Vista Motel and into the glare of a cloudless dawn. With a deep breath came the realization that a strong rain could wash away just about anything. Even the lingering aroma of the cannery and sour stink of the fishing fleet anchored at road’s end had been replaced with the crisp tang of damp earth and new beginnings.Continue reading “The Late Dawn of a Solar Knight – Jeff Dosser”
“It’s too far away to go by myself. I’m begging you.”
Aida Firenze stood before him, and even in Europa’s tiny gravity, slightly less than that of the Earth’s moon, there was no question of pushing her aside. Her expression gave a good clue as to how the quiet-looking ESA exobiologist had gotten herself a ticket on the first ship to explore the Jovian system at a cost of some several billion dollars, despite the fact that it wasn’t a European mission. Speculation was rife among the crew as to who had actually absorbed the cost of schlepping her added mass – and that of her lab equipment – all the way out here.Continue reading “No Pressure – Gustavo Bondoni”
CHAPTER 1: SARDINES
Gordon’s eyebrows are far too big for his face, for any face in fact – big bushy things that leer out over the hollows of his beady eyes and tax-collector spectacles. She’d always thought so, you can tell, but now they’re close, far too close, almost touching her, as he tries to squeeze his way into a corner of the already overcrowded lift that she is trying to occupy herself. She shudders at the thought of how they’d tickle against her skin.
‘Up, yes, all the way, thank you.’ he declares to no one in particular – he means he’s going to the top – before nodding a lascivious, ‘Miss Reid’ with a grim snaggle-toothed smile.
She shrinks away instinctively, trying to conceal her physical repulsion and disgust.
‘Gordon’ she splutters, then resumes holding her breath.Continue reading “Election Day – Greg Fiddament”
Jordan Vesper toyed with the olive in her martini glass, gazing solemnly into the clear liquid feeling its coolness against her fingertip. Soft piano music played in the background of the café/bar, known as The Violet Hour. Picking up the toothpick laid next to her drink she sensed something and glanced behind her, searching through the smoky hue of the café and its dim light. Nothing out of the ordinary, just the usual sneering looks of disapproval from the patrons at her very presence. Jilted lovers and one-night stands all wanting more and frustrated in not getting any. Jordan pierced the olive with the toothpick slowly, then placed it on her tongue and closed her red lips around it, then sensually pulled out the toothpick between her teeth and chewed the olive. Letting out a heavy sigh, she threw back the drink, the cool sting slipped down her throat.Continue reading “Whyte City – Samuel Clark”