Science Fiction, Short Fiction

Nine Minutes into the Future by Jared Cappel

The door opens automatically, not how supermarket doors part but rather like a hologram dissipating. Inside, the lights are blinding. Ads swarm the walls, as if overrun with nagware.

A hostess joins us mid-stride, music creeping out from her headset. She doesn’t bother to catch our eye. “Headphones or no headphones?”

I don’t quite grasp the question. Rashida jumps in. “Headphones.”

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All Stories, General Fiction

Always Remember to Shift by Jessica R. Clem

My mother’s cadence on the bike has always been impressive. She can seamlessly glide from first gear to third without breaking her stride. The sound of her chain effortlessly shifting sounds like fingers snapping a melody. We ride together on a winding dirt road. We are going incredibly fast considering her mountain bike is a heavy beast. The tires are wide and fat. But it is a cheerful red color. It is the color of tricycles and little wagons. Though she is only thirty-six, it is odd to see her on something that calls to youth.

Especially since she is dying as we ride.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Boundless Growth by Simo Tchokni

‘And all of this is replicated across twenty datacenters.’

With a flourish, Davide draws a large rectangle around the messy, sprawling diagram he’s drawn on the whiteboard. He turns around. ‘Any questions?’

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All Stories, General Fiction

Quarters by Meg Croley

He was seeing another woman, a woman who was not his wife, which admittedly was a little disorienting. What was he gaining that wasn’t already given to him by me or the wife (the wife never called him daddy). He hadn’t replied to my texts in three days, and I was about to announce a fake pregnancy. Then she called.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Counting Leaves by Tim Frank

“I want you to go out into the street today, Lionel, and stand there, for maybe an hour or so, then come back and tell me what you’ve seen. I want you to be real descriptive, make it all come alive. Don’t let me down because I’m really getting fed up sitting here, not even able to see a leaf on a tree. You’ve got your problems, but you still have your sight so please treasure it and share it with me.”

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All Stories, General Fiction

Scratch by Tom Sheehan

In the whole of Riverside Cemetery this was the one stone that had slipped its mooring, leaned not forward into the new millennium, but backward, into the one passed by mere years ago, as if saying it was tired of all the holding on. In one instant the scribed name was home with me: Dumont Pulsifier, an old pal from my neighborhood, but everybody, including his mother and his dead father while he was here, had called him “Scratch.”

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Last Light of the Library by Jennie Boyes

In silence, we drew back the curtains and watched the bombs explode. Josef leaned his head against the wall, cigarette limp in his mouth, his round glasses askew. He didn’t look afraid, and he wasn’t curious like me, not any more.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Picture Frame by Tim Frank

Carlton was a diminutive man with a rotund belly and a shock of tawny hair that swished from side to side as he shifted his head like a curious sparrow. He would drift through the working days in our publishing company brushing past his colleagues wordlessly in perfumed high-rise elevators, impossibly tight hallways and the tearoom where everyone gathered at mid-morning for an extra caffeine fix. He designed book covers for manuscripts that wove magical realist tales of invisible animals and children lost in ethereal kingdoms – fantasy worlds that seemed to give him sustenance, something maybe his surrounding environment couldn’t.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Worm Cheeks and the Search for Lunar Secrets by Brandon McWeeney

Under the light of a punchy, yellow moon, Pops jammed a cigarette in my mouth and put his thumb to work on our flip-top lighter. After a while, the flint wheel peeled up his scab and showed me his insides, which were bright and clean (and A-negative, Pops says). He sucked the blood like barbecue sauce, then flick, flick, flick, nothing, flick, flick

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