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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.

The First Time

He surprised her the first time they had sex. After that, she watched him more closely. Now that she knew what to look for, she could see little irregularities, barely curiosities if she hadn't been suspicious. He brought his food into his mouth with his lips more than his fork, and he barely seemed to chew. His bathroom breaks were infrequent at best. He only ever smelled of his aftershave or deodorant, never of sweat or musk.
She confronted him after a week. "So, how long have you been pretending to be human?"
He froze. She'd had doubts, but for a moment he was too still to be human. "I, I don't, um." He stopped.
She put a gentle arm around his shoulders. "It's okay." Her voice was soft and safe. "I'm not angry. I'm not afraid. I just want to know."
So he told her. He'd been hiding among the Earthlings, pretending to be one of them, for thirteen years. He was an amorphous multi-celled organism with exceptional natural crypsis. He thought he might be the last of his kind.
"That's incredible," she said. "But can you take more... creative shapes?"
That was the second time they had sex.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, February 9th, 2017
We hope you're enjoying The First Time by Peter A Schaefer.

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