My mother told me, "You are my heart."
"I don't want to be a heart." I don't watch the cars rushing past us on the highway, and I don't look at my brother in the backseat. Instead, I count the sparse hairs on my arm and tell myself that it's not turning into fur.
I check all the time, since my brother started turning into a dog. The teachers at school call it a tic, like they call a lot of things I do. They tell me to sit still and be quiet. They look at me like my voice is only barking--like I'm the one who's an animal. 29th-century Texas, like much of the rest of the world, was hot, dry, and windy. Sool, son of Menk, stood outside the National Research Arena, in dusty air that smelled of boiled cabbage, his cloak wrapped tightly around him. Three white-robed elders stood with him. The setting sun left long shadows everywhere.
One elder reached out to take Sool's hands. "You agree with our aims?" Dear Ellie, the letter probably would have started. Or should I say Dearest? I like Dearest, so let's pretend it said that.
Dearest Ellie, Jandara's famed purple-red plains swelled in the antiquated pleasure cruiser's windscreen as the ship lurched downward. The explosion that killed Seema's husband, Arun, had damaged the steering mechanisms of his beloved antique, and Seema fought the craft as shudders wracked it. Vibrations from the steering gears tingled, throbbed, and finally shook her arms. In the passenger compartment, Natesha, her seven-year-old daughter, wailed, echoing Seema's fear: Without Arun, I cannot survive.
The ship's belly bumped the ground, rose up, and dove hard. Tearing metal shrieked louder than Natesha. Seema buffeted in her restraints as a series of booms shook what remained of the ship. Then it settled, hissing, to the ground.
by James S. Dorr
***Editor's Note: Adult Story, Mature Themes***
The last decision Ashleigh made under the influence of Rocky Road ice cream was to spike her hair and dye it bright blue. That and her turning to cannibalism. The combination seemed somehow right to her--people already thought her a freak, or at least a bit odd. And it solved the Rocky Road ice cream problem rather well too.
Published on Sep 1, 2014
by Kate Heartfield
Published on Aug 29, 2014
by Shannon Peavey
Published on Aug 28, 2014
by Barton Paul Levenson
Published on Aug 27, 2014
by J. Spear
Published on Aug 26, 2014
by M. E. Garber
Published on Aug 25, 2014