I’m opening the cabinet now…The solitary tin can contains beets, what else? Only I can access the cabinet; the little ones are shrunk oh so small; they circle my legs, scratching at my heels. Wait, I tell them, mustering up bravado against welling tears. Dinner will be ready soon...I’ve believed each dinner would be the last, but I keep waking up to another last meal, and always a can of beets.
Nights she’d go flying in her tin pajamas, flapping her arms and kicking her feet, a clanking metal fish in the deep black phosphorescent night sky. Her aeroplane dreams were long hauls over the icing-topped world to the Far East, to the urgent pulsing electric sea of Taiwan. Here were spare parts and wiring, robotic buffers, machines that stripped the pajamas down and fixed them with shiny new rivets at the seams.
Jacob P. Silvia
The last time I counted, Bramblehorn, Texas had a population of 10. Though most in Texas pride themselves as the biggest and the best, there is something to be said about being the smallest city.
If you look in a book, it'll probably tell you that the smallest city is Los Ybanez, but that's just a myth brought on by the Big Liquor industry. That and I'm the only one here who knows anything about reading and writing and mathematics, and I was out hunting when the census man came around. I think Jem or Lem might have given him a bad count, that or they shot him.
Michael John Grist
There was a village in the mountains at the top of the world that was always shrouded in mist. Its name was Ballahee, and in it lived a small community of people, good people, who tended to their crops on the mountainsides, and looked after their sheep and their hardy goats, and helped each other through the cold and cruel winters.
The villagers had many problems, such as the cold winters, and the wolves in the scrub-woods, but by far their biggest problem was the mist.
I've been trying to crack the pro writing markets off and on for about five years now. This past March, I sold my first novel. When I announced the sale at my local Romance Writers of America chapter (which I'd joined only a couple of months earlier), one person (a multi-published author with Harlequin and Mills and Boon) remarked, "Wow, that was fast!"
Not really. It took me two years to write the novel, and two years to get it published. But when I mentioned that to this particular author, she looked amazed and said, "But I thought getting e-published was easy!"
All night she dreamt of blood. The crackle and crunch of bones made her uneasy.
Morgan gasped and kicked until she was awake. Her head throbbed. She smelled like sweat and fear and there was something stuck between her teeth. She pried at it unsuccessfully with her fingernails. Frustrated, she threw the sheets aside and ran into the bathroom. She grabbed a bit of dental floss. The thin piece of white string slid back and forth. Morgan let out a sigh of relief when she felt whatever it was come loose.
Probably a piece of chicken from yesterday’s lunch.
She felt large piece of skin between her thumb and index finger. Only it had…ridges. She frowned.
A disembodied voice of an unidentifiable gender demands the visitor’s identity.
‘At this moment,’ he lied, ‘I am Q’ab-El.’
Traversing the threshold of the first portal, visitor and disciples enter a hallucinatory extravaganza: simultaneously, a synthesised acceleration in the speed of light renders them invisible to its inhabitants.
He thinks He has me this time. As always, He underestimates me.
The happy couple never knew what befell them. One minute they dance to their joyous, ear-stabbing music, kissing their smiling families, the bride’s white gown billowing around her as she skips from groom to cake to groom to guest. The next, they cling to each other in delicious, unabashed horror as they are whisked from their festivities into the suddenly maddening sky.
The Toronto nuke blew about five minutes before the clowns came. This meant that Claudio and Mariah spied the red, yellow, and orange figures at the same time they heard the news.
"Toronto?" Mariah said. "Nuclear?" She'd been messaging on her comm unit.
Claudio looked at his daughter and clenched his teeth. On her arm he could see faint razor marks and her comm still bore the outline of the Dream Puke sticker he made her remove on a weekly basis. They were on the way back from her treatment session: recovery from DP was long and painful. He looked away from her. Long and painful for her: excruciating for everyone involved.
"You are flesh of my flesh, and bone of my bone," the voice droned softly into her ear as she looked down at the endless line of laid out, bloodless flesh drying under the harsh lights of the supermarket store. A love song wilted in the air, stifled by the scent of day-old clams. The meat looked bitter and unpersuasive. She picked up a roast of beef; it was too stiff, too coarse, not marbled. She remembered the days of her childhood, and the rich scent of gravy, and the cows out in the pasture. Flesh had been something different then. Something mysterious and familiar. She put down the beef roast and impulsively grabbed a bag of halal chicken, as though the connection with a faintly mysterious, ancient-world religion would bring life back to pre-bagged meat.