Havok Publishing

Rachel Dib

Caught in a Prickle

Martin awoke to a few unexpected discoveries, the first of which was finding himself suspended upside down from a tree branch. Considering his last memory was losing his footing and tumbling down a sharp embankment, this predicament came as a relief. After all, he wasn’t dead or grievously injured. So that was a plus.

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The Midnight Snack

Henry stared wide-eyed at the top of his tent. Was Gerald’s snoring growing louder? Sighing, he crawled from his sleeping bag and unzipped the flap. Memories of campfire smoke and burnt hotdogs clung to the crisp night air. His stomach growled.
“Might as well have a midnight snack,” Henry muttered. “No use…

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The Mushroom Conundrum

Dr. Miranda eyed the teenager perched before her. Tilli was a wisp of a girl with hot pink hair and delicate, almost pixie-like features. A lumpy, burlap sack lay by her feet. Though she was curious about the bag’s contents, Dr. Miranda decided to wait for Tilli to explain.
“So, what brought you in today…

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The Cake Thief

“This is all your fault,” a robotic voice growled.
Mark glanced in the rearview mirror at the cream-colored Himalayan. Though Zeus looked pitiful splayed across the backseat, eyes droopy and tummy bulging, Mark felt little sympathy. “How is this my fault?”
“You left that cake on the counter,” Zeus whined. His translation collar blinked

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Green

Holding up the emerald dress, I knew it wouldn’t fit. Still, I slipped it over my head. The fabric clung to my shoulders like plastic wrap.
Nope. I tugged the garment back off.
When I’d been fitted for the bridesmaid’s dress, I’d been bone-thin with knobby knees and elbows. Thankfully, that was no longer the case.

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Sweet Dreams

They come to me for the dreams—bubbles of florescent light that pop behind their eyelids and reveal an elsewhere. They don’t even care where they go. They just don’t want to be here.
I understand. With Earth a hair’s breadth away from total annihilation due to alien laser beams, I get the need…

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Gray

I stumbled, snotty and blurry-eyed, from the smoking building. I didn’t look heroic, but I had rescued the missing child. That’s what mattered. Especially since wailing firetrucks were only beginning to pierce the surrounding commotion.
Blinking back tears, I cradled the grime-covered toddler in my arms. Her small body convulsed in a coughing fit.

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The Pancake Maker

“Are you still working on that thing?” Mauldin shoved a handful of popcorn into his mouth and eyed the hunk of metal parts his brother was attempting to jimmy rig together.
“Yep.” Pablo paused and tilted his head. Pursuing his lips, he bent his head the other way. After a moment, his face

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Growing Pains

“I don’t know what to do.” Margo peeked around the doorframe.
Her son lounged in his hammock, one leg dangling over the edge.
She adjusted the conch shell against her ear. “All Birch does is sit in his room and listen to fairy pop. Neither of his brothers were this—”
“Lazy,”

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The Alloy

Greg glanced at the clock: a quarter to nine. He could close early. After all, he doubted anyone would saunter in fifteen minutes to closing.
But it’s the principle of the thing. The sign says open ‘til nine. Chin in hand, he flipped a page in his magazine.
The bell above the door jingled

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Where’s Griswald?

“Work the night shift, they said.” Oscar pushed his chair back from the wall of screens. “It’ll be easy, they said.” He wheeled himself over to the small desk holding the telephone and began pressing the number for the tactical team’s head. “Well, in what world is a twenty-foot-tall praying mantis easy?”

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Mr. Reliable

“I can’t find him!” Becca yanked Mark into her apartment and snapped the door shut. “I’ve looked everywhere!”
Mark furrowed his brow. The living room had been rearranged into a wide-open space with the couch, wicker chair, and TV all lined up against the wall next to each other. That’s not very convenient.

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