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"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.

art by Justine McGreevy


Patricia Ash is an emerging writer living in Dallas and working at Half Price Books. She is an Associate Editor and Staff Writer for Gearhearts Steampunk Glamor Revue. Her work can also be found at infinite-monkeys-pub.com. You can follow her adventures at thejoyofpash.livejournal.com or twitter.com/#!/thejoyofpash.

She came into the used bookstore. She didn't know what she was looking for, exactly. She wandered up and down the aisles, through every section from computers to romance. She combed through the clearance section.
At last, something caught her eye. A slim green volume poked out beneath an unwanted encyclopedia. She dug it out, and it felt right in her hands. "Wishes," read the cover. "Fifty cents," read the price tag. Why not? She could afford fifty cents. She took it home with her.
In her lonely one-room apartment, she curled up in her bed, which was really a mattress on the floor disguised with a colorful duvet. She made a cup of tea and opened the book.
The words seemed to glow. It was the best, the most magical thing she'd ever read. The world inside the book seemed so good, so different. She wished more than anything that she could live there and be happy.
Days later, they found her dead in her sad little apartment. On her face, the brightest grin they'd ever seen, probably a result of rigor mortis. Her family came, cold and silent. They took what little she had of value home with them. What they didn't want--mostly books, piles and piles of books--they sold.
He came into the used bookstore. He didn't know what he was looking for, exactly. He wandered up and down the aisles, through every section from computers to romance. He combed through the clearance section.
At last, something caught his eye.
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Author Comments

I enjoy cycles and spirals. I am fascinated by stories that are circular in nature and intrigued by the subtle differences in each repetition. When I was experimenting with flash fiction, I wanted to see how tight I could make a spiral. "Wishes" is what happened.

- Patricia Ash
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