Hell Could Be Many Things

The cargo hold door hissed as the locking cylinders depressurized, and then it swung silently open. A rush of stale air blew back Faulkner's coal-black mane. There was an electric light inside. "Please, let me go now," said the technician. Faulkner had already forgotten about him; pity. He faced the tech, placed his hands atop… Continue reading Hell Could Be Many Things

Fall Guy

Augustus stood at the edge of the scaffolding stretching out from the landing pad atop the headquarters of Cormorant Communications. High above the pointillism of the city lights in the late evening, the wind tugged at his scarf and jacket and made his knees weak. His stomach felt like it was on tumble dry. "Augustus!"… Continue reading Fall Guy

Wanna Make a Couple Bucks?

"Stop stalling. A bet's a bet." Xyler's opened his mouth as wide as he could, stuck his tongue all the way out, and held the pepper in front of his mouth. He sat that way, still as a statue, making an unsure moaning noise, before again pulling the pepper away. "C'mon, Eb, you know I… Continue reading Wanna Make a Couple Bucks?

Standardized Testing

Calia climbed into the hollowed out stump of a fallen roof tree and made an effort to quiet her labored breathing. Her lungs felt sunburned from the sprint and her mouth was cottony, flecked with bitter congealing saliva. She wiped at the beads of sweat on her brow, not noticing the dark streaks she left… Continue reading Standardized Testing

Copies of Copies

They were still called printers, but the machines were unlike anything imaginable to Gutenberg, or Galvani, or Gates. They looked like empty rooms. Drop in your raw material—didn't really matter what it was, as long as you had enough mass—and let the nanomites turn it into something else. Turn ashes into drinking water; spent power… Continue reading Copies of Copies

Done Playing Nice

"If you had nothing to hide, why did you fire off all the escape pods and try to scuttle the ship?" The lanky captain looked like a wax manikin who'd spent a little time in an oven, his features drawn and sullen. His bottom lip quivered uncontrollably and his pink, swollen eyes sat atop gaunt,… Continue reading Done Playing Nice

Shells on Shaula

Polonium was coming down like snow. Big flakes were torn apart by the little dust devils that ran around causing chaos in the daylight hours. The constant reactions between the radioactive flakes and the atmosphere gave everything a flickering blue glow. It would have been beautiful if it weren't lethal. Kellyn stalked the streets virtually… Continue reading Shells on Shaula

Overcast With a Chance of Murder

Claire walked to the courtyard through the late afternoon mist. The grayness was oppressive and the light rain seemed to hang in the still air. She drew into her red pea coat like a brightly colored shell. The uneven cobblestones led to a Greek-looking statue of a man with a flowing beard leaning against an… Continue reading Overcast With a Chance of Murder

Too Little Willpower

I stood gawking like a tourist at the inverted skyscrapers that hung down from the sky of stone and ice and iron. But I wasn't a tourist. This was my home now. The hollowed out asteroid was thick with the stench of people who all showered in the same few gallons of precious recycled water.… Continue reading Too Little Willpower