What Grows in the Orchard

Kartika walked through the soft grass of her family's orchard, smiling as the sun warmed her shoulders. The first promise of autumn was in the breeze. It was nearly time to harvest. Even with her prescription sunglasses she had to squint against the multifaceted reflections of the sun. Rainbow prisms flitted in her periphery vision… Continue reading What Grows in the Orchard

A Couple Questions

"It's raining, Detective," said her assistant. "Bring a coat." The voice was only in her head, but when the neurons were cajoled into firing in just the right sequence the effect was no different than a face to face conversation. Reality was only a matter of interpretation—always had been. Take the rain, for instance. Brigid… Continue reading A Couple Questions

Something Drastic

As she pulled them apart with her mind, one by one, the soldiers naturally, inevitably, were drawn to her. They believed they were made of bone and flesh and sinew, but Ayla saw beyond it. The soldiers, like all other things—living, dead, or somewhere in bewtween (where most things dwelled)—like Ayla herself, were made of… Continue reading Something Drastic

A Simple Scam

The metal container was the size of an old refrigerator and weighed a lot more. If it weren't for her exo she would have had no chance of moving it, not all at once. And Alexa only wanted to do this once. One big payday. It was a simple scam. It really started 150 years… Continue reading A Simple Scam

Ex Astris

Roman's heart raced. This was it. The culmination of three years of painstaking nonstop work. Truly nonstop; he'd found it easier to live in the lab for the last several months—years? Surely it was only months—venturing out less and less frequently. His fellow lab assistants shared his zeal, but no one could compare to Dr.… Continue reading Ex Astris

What Came Next

Kaiden wiped his face with his sleeve as he stepped under an awning and out of the rain. The sky had been blue and cloudless this afternoon, but the low, heavy clouds that now covered the city were as black and malevolent as smoke from a burning mountain of coal. Couldn't predict the weather an… Continue reading What Came Next

Butterfly

Dean stared at his hands through the plastic of the facemask, the now-empty syringe in the turmeric-colored dirt beside him, discarded, and he wondered with awe and terror what might become of him. A breeze rustled the black star-shaped leaves of the tree he sat under, and it sent a shiver up his spine. This… Continue reading Butterfly

Appraisal

The waiting room must have been 100°, and it was only the middle of springtime. It didn't bode well for the summer fires. There was a clean little stand with hot coffee, and hot tea. Inconvenient, but fiscally responsible, he thought. Who could afford to give away water these days? So showy. He dabbed his… Continue reading Appraisal

From the Garden

At 12 years old, Liam felt older than his parents. The other kids at school had the same feeling. Reality was right here, right now, all around them. But the only thing the grown-ups had any interest in was a fantasy of the past. Earth. Climate change. The draft. So what? The future was at… Continue reading From the Garden

Invisible Ladder

Kendi's feet hurt. It was an unseasonably cold September—record-breaking, as it seemed every September had been all her life—but her toes were especially frigid. She put thermal gel in her thick socks, but nothing seemed to help. As many pregnant women did these days, she tried to focus on her work. But unlike them, she… Continue reading Invisible Ladder