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Jareth eased into a parking spot, turning off the rock ‘n’ roll screaming from the radio. The wind nipped at his skin, so he zipped up his jacket a little tighter. His silver necklace winked at him in the reflection off the convenience store windows. A month ago this place would have been teeming with evening rush hour customers, but not today, not anymore.
The bell dinged. Plastic sheeting and caution signs still covered the glass refrigerator doors. The mob had made a hell of a mess, so he was surprised to see such a quick restoration. And glad. He needed his cigarettes. For a bad couple of weeks when a lot of stores were still shut there had been hardly available at all, but he’d made a point of keeping his habit. It was a matter of pride, even with his wages cut to the bone. They’d opened the restaurant again, but on short hours, just another service business slowly adjusting to the new world.
He kept his gaze down when he approached the cashier, his visor blocking eye contact. You couldn’t make eye contact.
“Hi, Miguel.” Jareth said. “A pack a cigs, please. The usual.”
Miguel also wore a visor; everyone did. If you couldn’t buy one, you made one or wore a hat. Really dark shades also did the trick. You needed something, anything, to keep you from meeting another person’s gaze.
“Still cleaning up?” Jareth asked.
“Almost done.” He nodded at the plastic sheeting. “That’s the last bit of broken glass. It’d be easier if they’d worked out insurance yet.”
Jareth retrieved the cigarettes. He only saw the pack and Miguel’s tanned, large hand.
The Naked Me – N. Immanuel Velez
A Nightingale’s Map of the City – by Suzanne J. Willis
Halfsies – Eric Del Carlo
The Snow Queen’s Daughter – Sean R. Robinson
Q: Aliens. Are they out there?
A: In short, yes. Scientifically speaking, we have proof that water and organic compounds exist in space. We have a growing body of evidence that planets are plentiful and that they do exist in the habitable zone of solar systems. Which means life is almost a certainty. If life exists, there’s no reason to think technologically advanced life wouldn’t also exist. I think the one dimension not spoken of in the Fermi Paradox is time. Life has existed on earth for four billion years and in all that time a technologically advanced species has only risen on the Earth once and only in the last 100 years. If we add a time dimension to the Fermi Paradox, I think it answers the question quite nicely of where is everyone. They either have already existed or have not yet evolved. If you add to the Fermi paradox the odds to have developed technology and managed to do so in the same 100-200 years that Humanity has, the millions of alien species that should exist are so spread out over time that their odds of crossing another species are likely pretty remote. We also have no idea of the longevity of a technologically advanced species.
George Allen Miller’s story “” will be published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 3 March 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
Q: If someone wanted to make an animated series out of your work, based on the title or recurring themes, what would it look like?
A: Regardless of plot – which could be any number of things related to my interests, so long as there were birds somewhere! – the animation would be 2-D, with vivid, definite color palettes.
Kathryn Weaver‘s image “Snails” is the cover art for our March 2017 stories.
Most of the stories we publish have gone through an editorial revision process. I’d estimate that less than 5% are accepted as is. And even the ones that I expect to require only light revision sometimes end up taking longer than expected. In short, revision is central to our acceptance system. As editor, I enjoy the process – the discussion with authors about what they’re really trying to say, the structural adjustments, the fine tuning.…
Kate Lechler is an outgoing introvert who teaches British literature at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS, where she lives with her husband, a dog, a cat, and seven fish. When she’s not at school, you can find her haunting her favorite bookstore, Square Books, or sitting on a lawn chair in her carport, writing about genetically-engineered unicorns and dragons.
Kate Lechler’s story “The Lost Heirs of Rose McAlder” will be published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 10 March 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
Jareth eased into a parking spot, turning off the rock ‘n’ roll screaming from the radio. The wind nipped at his skin, so he zipped up his jacket a little tighter. His silver necklace winked at him in the reflection off the convenience store windows. A month ago this place would have been teeming with evening rush hour customers, but not today, not anymore. The bell dinged. Plastic sheeting and caution signs still covered the…
- Just Five Minutes – George Allen Miller
- The Lost Heirs of Rose McAlder – Kate Lechler
- Bad News from the Future – Angus Cervantes
- Lake Oreyd – Damien Krsteski
- Sundown on the Hill – Timothy Mudie
Cover art by Kathryn Weaver.
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