Archive - October 2021
“A bard here sells stardust?” I tug my top hat low and flip up my collar, adjusting my oxygen mask as I scan the dock.
Mister Kieffer drops from the rope ladder hanging from the Nebula’s railing. “Aye.” Maskless, he’s only a little breathless in the oxygenless Holuvian atmosphere.
It’s risky to let a prisoner
The rhythm of boots against the metal stairs rumbled through the complex louder than the sirens. Jake 257 covered his ears and ducked under the cafeteria table.
Demir 338 peeked down with a smirk. “That’s not the take-cover alarm.”
Lila 411 leaned next to him, pressing her headset to her ear. “Yeah, the emergency’s
A wooden barrel whizzed out of the produce section, bounced past the greeting cards, and slammed into an endcap display of cold remedies. Children’s grape chewables—on sale for $13.99—splattered across the opening of aisle four.
This might be my fault. Brian slumped to the grocery store floor. His head tipped back against
The day I left earth was the day I lost myself.
Our Nebula-class colony ship races through space, headed for the distant Red Orion Galaxy. Four hundred sixteen-year-olds in matching gray jumpers jostle into lines for lunch. Surrounded by the clink of forks on dishes and the smell of subpar cafeteria food,
The scarecrow’s eyes glowed at twilight. Two slits blazed orange as the October sun dipped below a horizon of corn, ten feet tall.
Jester was strapped to a wooden cross. Dressed in a tattered flannel shirt and faded jeans. Straw for tendons and muscles. No heart or organs, much less a brain.
Jessmina had faced tough crowds before, but a squadron of war-torn soldiers? That just felt unfair. She loitered at the bar, though—unfortunately—drinking on the job wasn’t allowed.
She sighed glumly at her situation. Outside, gray gloom and swirling snow. Inside, a table full of scowling warriors with rifles strapped across their backs.
Nova trailed after Aster, her current guardian, as he strode down a road in the light of the evening sun.
“My legs are tired,” Nova said in case Aster hadn’t heard her the first seventy times.
Her purple, four-fingered hand reached for his special Darknight cape: a magical fabric that concealed their true nature
Behind the shrubs would be a good place. The thought flitted through his mind as Andrei and his date walked through the dimly lit park.
The dinner had gone to plan. His petite partner had ordered the crab cakes as he’d encouraged her to, and he had smothered her with dessert and charm
“What a perfectly splendid location to attempt new and exciting crime!” Finneas Churchwarden—private investigator—straightened his blue argyle bow-tie. “Don’t you agree, Leon?”
“It’s Lionel, sir.”
“That’s what I meant.” Churchwarden jabbed his clay pipe between his teeth, chewing on the stem as he spoke. “Come, beloved colleague. Let us do the work
“Sure thing, Warden.” The hunter brushed back her curly red hair and leaned her rifle against a nearby pine. She patted the front of her camouflage vest, searching, turned out her empty pockets, and glanced at her burly partner.
The male hunter stuck up a finger. “Hey, maybe they never gave