Monster

The moment I open the wardrobe door, the girl starts screaming. Her voice pierces the silence like a lightning strike tearing through a faultless sky. She stops long enough to pull her blanket up around her neck before starting again. I sigh. They always respond like this, as though my glowing red eyes indicate some …

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It wasn’t for lack of effort. They just stopped happening. A generation mourned infertility. Governments restructured. We graciously accepted our fate. Then, the apparitions. A silhouette in an empty crib, a vision scooting across floorboards, a transparent ruse. Within months they leaned to opaque, dependent on each one’s willingness to exist. Some fully tangible in …

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Balloons

They floated gently between the mountain peaks, the balloon filling with fire. Cloth-wrapped bundles dropped to the earth as they glided along. Inside, rice seed and books cradled against each other. Rice seed for planting in the earth, books for planting in the mind. He let another bundle drop, a miniature balloon tied to its …

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Sam puts on her crisp white shirt and slim black pants, looks in the mirror to make sure her bra line is invisible, that her pants are properly creased. The interview is only two hours away but time stretches out, before the beginning step to determine if she will be permitted children. The bile rises …

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Finite

“You’re sure?” “They’ve embedded. We can’t remove or replace them.” So that was it. Alanna was the first person in 630 years whose nanos had failed. “So I’ll age, I’ll die.” “I’m afraid so.” Her body would crumble away. Without repair nanos her skin would become fragile and thin, her eyesight and hearing fade, and …

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Sunlight slips onto treetops and waiting dew. It races over hills, past tree trunks and branches to find her. The moon killed her shadow and missed her flesh. The sun must make it right. It props itself on beams and drifts higher, scouring the earth to finish her death with lambent daggers. There she is, …

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Defiant always of the Principia, Sky Boy jumped. Lean and lithe he practiced plyometrics, nurtured an impressive vertical. Mid-leap he swore an oath: gravity is my enemy. 9.81m/s2 is a prison binding us to the Earth. Behind workroom door Daddy carved a surprise for beloved son: large waxen wings. Calculations had been made, arcs plotted. …

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The door opened onto a courtyard, which was not strange in itself except her house did not have one. The door she opened should have led to the basement. She closed then reopened the door: the courtyard was still there, sunlit and warm, water splashed in a bowl shaped fountain. She put her foot tentatively …

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They laid at her feet baskets of apples and loaves of bread. In all her traveling, she pondered what use she would have for possessions when she took to the stars once again. “I danced along the rings of Saturn and they melted under my feet. I made the moon blush at her own reflection. …

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