Hijacked

My chance presents itself when an insignificant cargo ship checks in. The captain, Frank Kipper, an easy-going loner, brushes past me calling, “Hey, Phil, do me a favor? Switch some takeoffs tomorrow so I can get out before 1400?” It’s amazing how ship personnel believe, because you and they joke around a few times, that …

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I saw him when I went out for my evening walk along the labyrinth. He was black against the purple earth, lit only by the setting sun, stiff, lifeless. His eyes were gone, his inner lamp snuffed out. I didn’t yet know his story, how he had been haunting the rose garden. I took him …

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Stray

-an ode to Laika, the first creature in space- I’d give you my own marrow (the softest, bestest part) to bribe you with. This way, maybe my heart would stop bleating out your name–Laika, Laika, Laika–keeping time with your vitals. The only part of you they couldn’t control. And I am every child in 1957 …

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Mable

From where she was standing, Mable couldn’t tell if she was looking at the end of the maze or if she had only found the middle. She took a deep breath, feeling her stomach knot up as she looked around her. She couldn’t see Charlie anywhere. This was a point in the maze she had …

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The first time she’d seen him was a Tuesday. She’d been in class all day and decided to finish it off with one of those croissants with the chocolate inside, a weekly reward to herself. This was her evening of solitude The only place she could even consider was the local coffee joint down the …

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Parker had come upon the strange machine quite unexpectedly. But there it sat in the ally behind the Pigley Wigley grocery store, next to a dumpster, in the midst of stained cardboard boxes and the pungent smell of vegetables decaying in the Mississippi midday heat. His abandoned skateboard continued a lonesome ride, crashed into a …

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To Laura

The uMEL slams into the Martian atmosphere at 21,000 mph. Speed is quickly translated into heat. Soon the pod’s protective thermal skin becomes as hot as the surface of the sun. Six miles above the landing site, a parachute deploys to soften the descent. Seconds before impact, multiple airbags inflate like giant white grapes. The …

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Gray

The woman walked through the dead field on the edge of the forest. The dry grass crunched under her feet. A cold wind cut through her jeans and whipped at her face. She brought up the hood of her coat; the faux rabbit fur lining rubbed her cheek. I need to get home soon, she …

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Reams of material stacked and categorized by color and pattern lined the floor-to-ceiling shelves that faced away from the sun. Glass jars filled with pins and needles and safety pins aligned shelf edges. Scores of scissors swung as the overhead fan struck a two beat tempo. The room engulfed Emily Rose. Her hands gripped the …

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