Battalion, by Robin Jennings

“Fascinating!” the woman squealed as she watched the pool of blood underneath the man’s body slowly grow larger. She squatted down beside him and ran a finger through it, rubbing the red, sticky liquid between her thumb and her index finger. She looked up at the man. “Do they all do this?”

He nodded emphatically. “They’re pretty fragile, Commander.”

She stood up and their orange eyes locked. “Get on the line, tell central to call back the fleet. We should be able to knock out the infestation with a couple of teams… These human things aren’t much of a challenge.”


Author Bio: Robin Jennings is a horror enthusiast based in the open fields of Northern New Jersey. Having previously optioned a full length screenplay called “Shudder”, she’s now focusing her creative efforts on short fiction. Follow her on Twitter: @Robin_Jayyy

Prisoner, by Robin Wyatt Dunn

Her hair has been matted for days. The robot has made her his, but cannot enjoy her. He’s been programmed to need consent. He rails over the loudspeaker, Guantanamo love affair, the woman in blaze orange down in the fortress basement.

Rapunzel tries to hang herself with her hair but fails, so she has to go MacGyver, scraping the explosive off the privy, saltpeter her sweet escape—

The fortress may be 22nd century but its radar-invisible vortices are delicately balanced; just a little raw black powder on the right line of force, honeychile, and she’ll pull it down like Samson—


Robin Wyatt Dunn writes and teaches in Los Angeles. His new novel Conquistador of the Night Lands is forthcoming from Villipede Press.

Last One In, by Phil Temples

“Hey, buddy! Do you know where we’re going?”

The second one stared back blankly.

“Haven’t a clue,” he said, finally. “You?”

They ran mostly in silence. After a while, hundreds of others had joined in, running behind, ahead, and along side. It was getting harder to keep from colliding with one another.

“Keep it moving!” shouted someone, from a few rows back.

Finally, they arrived at the edge of a cliff.

“Last one in’s a rotten egg!” proclaimed the frontrunner.

Without hesitation, wave after wave of lemmings leapt off the cliff, plunging to their deaths into the angry sea below.


Phil Temples lives in Watertown, Massachusetts, and works as a computer systems administrator at a university. He has published over fifty works of short fiction in print and online journals. Blue Mustang Press recently published Phil’s full-length murder-mystery novel, The Winship Affair. And his new paranormal-horror novel, Helltown Chronicles, has just been accepted by Eternal Press.

Guidance, by Donna Marie West

I lit a candle, cast my trusted runes on the kitchen table, and made a spread of the pieces that landed face up.

Studying them closely, I searched for answers to my request for guidance.

And there they were, clear as day.

Uruz: new beginnings possible. Eihwaz: the meaning of defense is overcoming obstacles. Algiz: protection of the self. Ehwaz: progress is movement; movement is progress. Mannaz in reverse: where there is an obstacle, seek the solution within yourself.

I slipped the butcher knife from the drawer and moved toward the bedroom where my monster of a husband was sleeping.


Since first sending my work out into the world in 2003, I have published well over one hundred fiction and non-fiction stories in a variety of Canadian and American magazines, including WHAT IF?, SUNDAY@SIX, THE CONQUEROR, MYSTERIES MAGAZINE, SPACEPORTS AND SPIDERSILK, HALLOWEENFOREVERMORE, and BEYOND CENTAURI. I am also a contributor to the recent anthologies DEATH AWAITS, IN SHAMBLES, SPOOKY HALLOWEEN DRABBLES 2014, SPECULATIVE VALENTINE DRABBLES 2015, and THE GRAYS. My previous drabble submission, “Guidance,” was recently accepted by THE WERE-TRAVELER. I spend most of my free time reading, writing, and doing research for current projects.

The City of Lake Traverse Consumer Confidence Report: City Water, by Roy C. Booth

In February 2035, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) began sampling selected municipal water supplies for an expanded list of enhancedperfluorochemicals (EPFCs) related to Class A firefighting and riot control foams. These systems were chosen based on the volume of reported use of such in training centers and the vulnerability of the wells. The City of Lake Traverse was one of those municipal water supplies.

The laboratory analysis noted trace amounts of EPFCs, which are below the health based exposure limit. Ongoing monitoring will continue as a public health action, however, especially with concerns of secondary mutations and the like.


Roy C. Booth is a published author, comedian, poet, journalist, essayist, screenwriter, and internationally awarded playwright with nearly 60 plays published (Samuel French, Heuer, et al) with nearly 800 productions worldwide in 29 countries in ten languages. Also known for collaborations with R Thomas Riley, Brian Keene, Eric M. Heideman, William F. Wu, and others (along with his presence on the regional convention circuit), Roy hails from Bemidji, MN where he also manages Roy’s Comics & Games. See his entry on Wikipedia for more.

Giant Pool Table, by Denny E. Marshall

First published in “Pablo Lennis” Nov. 2014.

It is the largest pool table in the universe. The location is the Shiyo galaxy.

The Azmars play whenever they get the chance, since it is only open six times a year.

Players do not use pool sticks. They use pool launchers to strike the ball into other balls.

Some Azmars think the game is harmful and does not advance society while others think it is harmless fun. Life forms on many planet hate the game, although are unaware the cause of their problems is a pool game. You see the pool balls are other planets in the Shiyo galaxy.


Denny E. Marshall has had art, poetry and fiction published, some recently. See more at www.dennymarshall.com

 

Size Doesn’t Matter, by Michael A. Kechula

She was magnificent.   All three inches of her.

A Martian?  I didn’t care.

She arrived when I was suicidal. Saved my life.

Daytimes, she sat on my shoulder, purring. Nights, she lay on my pillow, sighing.

Inseparable, love blossomed.

“Marry us,” I asked a priest. He refused because of our significant size differences.

I asked surgeons to downsize me.

“Make you teensy-weensie? Impossible!”

Then she disappeared.

Grieved, I found a note: “I’ve gone to Mars. There’s a new hormonal treatment.”

She returned 3 months later.

“It worked,” she said, trying to snuggle her ten-foot body next to my 5’6” frame.


Michael A. Kechula’s flash and micro-fiction tales have been published by 150 magazines and 50 anthologies in 8 countries. He’s won 1st prize in 12 writing contests and 2nd prize in 8 others. He’s authored 5 books of flash and micro-fiction tales, including a book that teaches how to write flash fiction. See his publisher’s site at: http://www.booksforabuck.com/ to read a free story or chapter in all of his books. 

 

Palm Reader, by Gwendolyn Kiste

“Let me see your palm,” she said, and though I winced, she was too busy studying the map of my life to notice.

“You’ll have riches,” she said, “but they won’t last.”

“Why not?” I asked, trembling.

“The palm doesn’t tell all.” She smiled and closed her hand around mine.

With her, I found places I’d never seen and cuisine I’d never tasted and love I’d never known. She was the riches my palm promised. And on the morning she poisoned the coffee and laughed while I choked, only then did I understand why those riches weren’t meant to last.


Gwendolyn Kiste is a horror and fantasy writer based in Pennsylvania. Her fiction has appeared in anthologies including Strangely Funny II and Whispers from the Past: Fright and Fear as well as online at Sirens Call Publications, Danse Macabre, and Sanitarium Magazine among others. You can find her at www.gwendolynkiste.com and on Twitter (@GwendolynKiste).

New Bride, by Sheryl Normandeau

I should never have brought my new bride home in the dead of winter. It was a bad year: my traps were empty, the larders bare, but each night as I curled my bones against Annette in our matrimonial bed, her smooth, soft body grew plumper. She was flushed with warmth and, I hoped, our unborn child.

One night I heard an animal outside our door, the screams of a killing. I stepped out with my gun into moonlit snow, seeing the snarling face, fangs shining with blood.

Her pelt would fetch me a good price at McGuinty’s General Store.


Sheryl Normandeau is a Calgary-based writer and blogger at Flowery Prose (www.floweryprose.com).

Master, by E. M. Eastick

“What is it, girl?”

Tess barked and wheeled in the sand, her liquid eyes urging Neil into the dunes.

“Okay, I’m coming.” Smiling, he trotted after the golden Lab.

She bounded through the heath and stopped under a coconut palm, by a circle of blackness, a gaping hole in the earth. “A sink hole? Come away, girl.”

Iron jaws latched onto his wrist. “No, girl, it’s dangerous.” His protests died in the tumble of stone and gurgle of earth. A satisfied silence, and a thunderous belch rose from the void.

When the master said, ‘Fetch,’ Tess obeyed. She always did.


Born and raised in northern Australia, E. M. Eastick worked as an environmental professional in Britain, Ireland, and the Middle East before turning her hand to writing. Her creative efforts appear or are forthcoming in the Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, The Literary Hatchet, and Mad Scientist Journal. She currently lives in Colorado.

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