Fiction

by R.W.W. Greene

A lot of people cheered when our space plane docked with the Sam Walton but I wasn’t in the mood. The ride up was terrible. First I felt squashed, then I felt like I was falling, then I just wanted to puke. The flight attendant had handed out anti-nausea gum before we took off, but people were throwing up all around me. A couple of rows back, someone missed the barf bag and vomit bubbles floated by my head. The attendant captured it with a net. Gross.

Issue 19 (Mar 2012)
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by David McCool

A couple of months ago - I'm talking mid-June, right smack in that heat wave - I took a walk into the town centre to kill some time on what was likely the hottest day of the year. Had I stayed at home I'd have risked dozing off in front of the TV, and, at my age, my sleep pattern doesn't need much more than a five-second, head-jerking snooze for it to be thrown right out of sync. Working in the garden wasn't an option, either. I'd have been sizzled good, even with factor 50 and a straw hat on my side.

Issue 18 (Feb 2012)
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by Nick Wood

We are amongst the last of the last, the ‘do-not-dies’ as the dead now call us. They follow us, the dead do, whispering and pulling at our ears and hair. The other two don’t notice, although they do see and comment on the occasional cock of my head, as I listen without comprehension to dry and meaningless whispers from shadowy lips, the occasional repetition of that one phrase, all I can make out - ‘do-not-dies…’

Issue 18 (Feb 2012)
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by Thomas Carl Sweterlitsch

Ashen drizzle. Black sky. Christ, thought McKinley - nothing like the fucking rain. It collected in muddy drifts. It pooled at the curbs. Already the streets were slicked with wet soot. McKinley lifted his boot from the accelerator and hit the emergency flashers. The bald tires of his Ford Focus fishtailed. It was bad enough on clear days when the ash was like fucking snow, but when it rained everything just turned greasy.

Issue 18 (Feb 2012)
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by Summer Hanford

One unremarkable, breezy September morning, a graduate student was cleaning rat cages. Now, most of her rats were housed individually in fine 9 x 12 x 9 inch highly durable plastic bins, but four of them lived together in a colony cage. These four rats were naive Long Evans males, recognizable as 19, 20, 21 and 22 by their earmarks, and were currently on water deprivation in preparation for a study.

Issue 18 (Feb 2012)
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