John Brown’s Pikes

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“Private Martin.” “Yes, sir.” He did not swallow or make any other sign of fear. His face was a study in youth exposed to battle. Even delivery of bad news to a flag officer was insufficient to shake the private’s confidence. Colonel Cypherus Wheeler had seen his own expression in the parlor mirror of Cypress Manor earlier, […]

The Death Maiden

Sundari had a mental habit of ignoring entire worlds while pondering the more arcane facts of their biology, so she did not hear the song until her hair was washed. She was wrapping it in a towel and walking barefoot across the spicewood floor, past the bed and sample tables and chemstove and microscopes and […]

Pirates of Silicone Valley

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“Well, you know, the goal is not to be the richest man in the cemetery. It’s not my goal anyway.” — Steve Jobs Steve Dobbs sighed and stopped reading Ellen’s memorandum. He wouldn’t bother to sign it, as this would annoy her. Annoying people was his favorite hobby in old age. Besides, there was another […]

The Mills

When I explained that I would be living in Atlanta, that I would never visit, I said it was because of the smell. It was a fine ruse, for that awful odor offended me from the very day my family moved to this slice of Hades, and I’d never been shy about saying so. Everyone, […]

Georges In Jars

“Come here, George.” Mother had a scolding tone. Ever since the frog incident, George usually deserved it and tonight was no exception. As he approached the dimly-lit reading chair where she sat on a yak-fur, she looked to the jar under the desk-lamp. “Tell your sister Georgia good night, George.” George pecked his mother’s cheek. […]

Fear And Fire

The world shook them awake. Maggie sat up first despite her medicated slumber. David rolled out of bed with eyes unfocused and stood blinking at the clock on the dresser. Maggie slurped from her nightstand water glass before trying to speak. “What was that?” She gasped. David didn’t know what it had been. Indeed he […]

Babylon 2025

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I’m not going to make it through today, I thought as the alarm went off. I’d been on for six hours, and the way things looked it’d be a busy six more before I got to crash in my rack. Not that I’d sleep. Six months here, six to go: the halfway point was too […]

Jars

There is nothing more tempting than a locked door. This is why I keep Algernon in a doorless pantry, high up on the shelf behind a great jar of pickled eggs. Algernon sleeps the days away in this cool, quiet, restful habitat, safely sealed inside another, smaller jar. No thief, government agent, or family member […]

Lost In Translation

“So this is what a secure and undisclosed location looks like,” The President said with a chuckle. “Kinda expected somethin’…I don’t know…more secure-lookin’.” “It’s secure, alright,” the Vice President growled. “But it doesn’t look that way. That’s how we keep it undisclosed.”