Take me to a...
Enter any portion of the author name or story title:
For more options, try our:
Sign up for free daily sci-fi!
your email will be kept private
Get a copy of Not Just Rockets and Robots: Daily Science Fiction Year One. 260 adventures into new worlds, fantastical and science fictional. Rocket Dragons Ignite: the anthology for year two, is also available!
Publish your stories or art on Daily Science Fiction:
If you've already submitted a story, you may check its:
Not just rockets & robots...
"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.

No Man's Neverland

Kim Ball Smith is a freelance copy editor in Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and two children.

The rumors spread through the German trenches: the British had deployed a new weapon after the losses in Arras. Survivors of each attack were counted in the single digits, boys who had been drafted despite not being of legal age. Most were incoherent. They spoke of a battalion of criminals bearing patches over eyes and hooks for hands. Others reported a squadron of natives from the Americas, a troop of child soldiers, or half-nude women with sharp teeth who smelled of the sea. The higher-ups suspected a new neurological agent.
One young soldier, the youngest of them all, spoke fervently of a woman dressed in a flowing nightgown spattered with blood. She called a demon, he said, a boy with flame-red hair who cast no shadow. He bore an old-fashioned cutlass, and he flew as he cut through the ranks, crowing and laughing and calling, "Look! Do you see? Look at me!" as if it were all make-believe, as if it were all a game.
The woman had not laughed. She had knelt before the trembling soldier and laid a red-stained hand upon his shoulder.
"This is for John," she had said. "This is for Michael."
She had lifted the soldier's chin and gazed into his eyes.
"You're lost," she had said. "Go home. Go home to your mother."
Clearly the effects of nerve gas, the higher-ups said, despite the fact that many of the victims had been wearing their masks.
She's the one to fear, those in the trenches said. She's the one in charge.
Beware the woman in the nightgown.
Beware the one they call Darling.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, November 5th, 2020

Author Comments

Kim Ball Smith is a freelance copy editor in Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and two children.

- Kim Ball Smith
Become a Member!

We hope you're enjoying No Man's Neverland by Kim Ball Smith.

Please support Daily Science Fiction by becoming a member.

Daily Science Fiction is not accepting memberships or donations at this time.

Rate This Story
Please click to rate this story from 1 (ho-hum) to 7 (excellent!):

Please don't read too much into these ratings. For many reasons, a superior story may not get a superior score.

4.6 Rocket Dragons Average
Share This Story
Join Mailing list
Please join our mailing list and receive free daily sci-fi (your email address will be kept 100% private):