Posts Tagged “Short Story”
The SUBMERGED, ALL HAIL OUR ROBOT CONQUERORS!, and THE DEATH OF ALL THINGS anthologies from Zombies Need Brains LLC are now open up submissions for a few remaining slots in each anthology. If you have a story idea that fits one of the anthology themes, write it up, revise it, polish it, and send it in for consideration.
Stories for this anthology must be original (no reprints or previously published material), no more than 7,500 words in length, and must satisfy the theme of the anthology. Pay rate will be an advance of a minimum of 6 cents per word for the short stories.
The Dog with No Name, by Grace Bridges: One eventful night in Belfast, a soulful dog makes a split-second decision that will change his life forever. FREE on Kindle 15-18 May! (Short story)
Perhaps the dog had had a name, once, long ago, when children christened the puppy they’d begged for. Perhaps it had been Christmas, with shiny baubles hung on a fragrant tree, or somebody’s birthday, and he had burst out of a barely-wrapped box with the same brown ears and grey patches that he still wore, to be greeted with delight by the little ones and a certain disapproval on the part of a busybody aunt.
“Growth” by A.C. Buchanan in Fierce Family anthology from Crossed Genres
All around, the wind swayed the grass, bringing out ever-changing tones of red and purple. Still used to the vegetation of Earth’s temperate zones, it was hard for me to break myself from the idea that these colours were autumnal, dry, that the whole place was ready to go up in smoke. But here the leaves and blades were broad, the vegetation damp. Though the sun shone brightly, my legs were as sticky from the grass as they were from sweat. The wind was picking up, and I smoothed out my skirt as the navy fabric rippled.
“It is sharp, and beautiful, and awful to watch them burn, but burn they must, wrapped up in dust and flame, writhing and curling and dying, thin hard men who wear cold steel at their belts while trading silk for silver, spices and myrrh. Sometimes, as they cry in anguish before the dust chokes their voices forever, I savour the sound, relishing that it is not I who cries in anguish for that which I have lost – not this time. Over rock, across dunes, between the sleeping canvasses of their caravans and the snorting of dromedaries, I blot out the sky before them, judge them, and deliver my sentence, or my mercy, as I see fit. I come upon them in the brutality of screaming wind and shredding sand, descend on them in a howling rage, summoning the nightmares of their sweating half-sleeps to their eyes, their throats. I swirl and thrash about them, knowing their bright Arabian steel, Damascan gold and Grecian silver will not shine so bright when I am done, when I have blasted the skin from their flesh and the flesh from their bones.”
“The two agents broke into a run, following the tunnel down, deeper, noting a second, a third, and even more clusters of dynamite along the cavern walls, all spooling them down, ever down, into the shadows.
As they ran, they smelt the smoke. It filled the shaft like a thin haze, and stank of grease. The shaft curved away and then, around the bend, the rails came to an end. Beyond the bumper, where a lone cart clunked softly against the timber with the rhythm of the chaindrive, a vast blackness stretched out. A dozen candles melted into pools of wax along the edges of the shaft, and the string of gaslights came to an end, their light barely penetrating past the cavernous throat.
Elias, Smith and Jones by Mark English in Escape Pod, January 31, 2013
He chuckled to himself as he looked up at the wall of people in front of him. Political leaders, military leaders, space systems engineers; all desperate to hear the words of an aged ship’s monkey from the Frontier. All because he and his co-conspirators had blackmailed the solar system.
A Foreign Country brings together the work of established authors and fresh voices to showcase the range of stories produced by New Zealand’s growing community of speculative fiction writers. Humorous, disturbing, intriguing, cautionary, and ultimately hopeful, these tales tell of worlds where the boundaries between human and animal are blurred, babies are not what they seem, desperate measures are in place to ward off disaster, and flying standby can be a big mistake.
Blueprints by Anna Caro in Fat Girl in a Strange Land
Cherry seems to be under the impression that she’s going to be spirited away to Terra Nova any day now. Poor kid. Even if she did lose the weight – and let’s face it, if there was any chance of that she’d be at one of the Health Camps, not No Hopers’ High – there’s still her history of cancer. There’s no way in hell she’s going with just one lung.
Millie by Anna Caro in Outlaw Bodies
When my father died, I inherited my coffin. My parents would be horrified to hear me refer to it as such; more so to know I had been doing so jokingly since my mid-twenties. It doesn’t even look like a coffin; it’s a cedar chest that had been my maternal grandmother’s, with carved feet and an inlay of what looks like mahogany. But I’ve always known what it was.
Waking the Taniwha by Dan Rabarts in Wily Writers, March 10, 2013
“Those wounds were neither musket fire nor swords,” Kent said. “That was claws, or teeth.” “Too clean for teeth. A word of advice, Kent: If you go looking for monsters in every shadow, it might pay to carry a lantern.” “Sir!” Faulkner and Kent looked to Sullivan, and past him to the devastation which had befallen the Manawatu Gorge. Massive claw-shaped gouges had shredded the bushclad hillsides around the Ngai Toaki pa, the soil torn as deep as the rock beneath. Kent’s gaze followed the trail of destruction up the hillsides. Something monstrous had walked this earth.
The Care and Feeding of Mammalian Bipeds, v. 2.1 by M. Darusha Wehm in Escape Pod, November 15, 2012
The first day I meet my human herd they are so well-behaved that I wonder if they really need me at all. I arrive at their dwelling, and am greeted by the largest one of their group. I access the manual with which I have been programmed and skip to Section 3: Verbal and Physical Clues for Sexing Humans.
“Back in the black old days, we called it the Bone Plate. Wasn’t worth your life to touch the Bone Plate. It made men kings, back in the black old days. Mine was a trashcan lid, piled high with gnawed, soot-stained remains, the bones of rats and cats and stray dogs and pigeons. Only the bones of that which you had killed and stripped clean with your own biting, smiling teeth were allowed on your Plate, and whoever had the biggest Plate ruled the windswept world of trash and frost that sprawled beneath the overpasses. I remember jamming more and more bones on top of each other, wrapping them up with wire and twine and whatever else I could find amongst the trash, until mine towered taller than anyone else’s under the ‘pass. It had made me king, and Hania my queen.
Wearing the Star Cloak by Darian Smith in Wily Writers, July 2, 2012
The unstoppable power of a legendary hero searches for a new host to wield it. Who is worthy to wear the star cloak?
Young Love on the Run from the Federal Alien Administration New Mexico Division (1984) by Grant Stone in Strange Horizons, May 9, 2011
Roland twirls the phone cord around his finger and listens to the ring. He looks around the room. It’s pretty shitty. Besides the bed there’s a TV fixed to the ceiling, a fridge he can hear humming even from over here and a chair the same chocolate brown as the carpet. The phone he is calling is beige and sits on a small table next to the stairs in a house in a tree-lined street in Burbank. He imagines his mother putting down the duster and hurrying downstairs like he’s seen her do a million times before.
Mary Had a Unicorn by Ripley Patton in Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear
The last thing on earth Mary Maloney wanted was a unicorn. She wasn’t an addict, no matter what they said at the clinic. Sure, she used sometimes just to have some fun, or when she was down. But who didn’t? It wasn’t any different than the booze her dad tanked. Or the pot he smoked. But you didn’t see anyone assigning him a freakin’ genetically engineered, one-horned parole officer.