HOPper – Charlotte H. Lee

HOPper shut off the light as his mistress left the kitchen, scrubbing at her eyes while she made her way down the hallway to the bedrooms. Just as Vanessa reached the girls’ door, he dimmed the hall light from the standard eight hundred lumens to three hundred so it wouldn’t wake the children. Once again, six-year-old Sadie’s book of fairy tales had fallen to the floor. HOPper kindled the desk lamp and waited until Vanessa…

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The Circe Test – Nora Mulligan

Circe knelt in front of the pig, holding its face so that its eyes looked into hers. “You are not really a pig,” she said to it. “You know that. Think. Remember who you are, what you are, and you will return to that form.” The pig’s eyes blinked. It struggled in a panic to escape from her. Look as she might, Circe could see no traces of human intelligence in its face. With a…

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BetaU – T. B. McKenzie

On Sunday, Janie’s com pinged with a message from her cousin who worked for Visage, one of the big city body-mod firms. You should go for this! read the underlined text, which took her to a minimalist page with the company name, BetaU in the middle and a single link at the bottom: Employment Opportunities. Only the fanciest places hired humans any more, and Janie’s curiosity sparked, if not her hope, for they’d only want…

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The Abjection Engine: Fragments From the Diary of Alexi Alanovonovich – Y. X. Acs

Among the infinite forms which the natural world delivers us, none is more fascinating, more truly wonderful, than that incomprehensibly complicated movement referred to, in its entirety, as ‘human life’. True comprehension of life, with its fathomless direction and astonishing intricacy, may ever elude us, and yet we can readily apprehend it as a form of movement; a unitary mass being moved by a force, and thereby, no matter its nature, may come to know…

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One Divided by Eternity – Filip Wiltgren

My happiest ending would be if Offie moved in here and I weren’t alone all the time. “I can’t, Chilli,” Offie says. “There’s not enough room for me.” I know that but I keep asking. I hate being alone. I hate it, hate it, hate it. “Please,” I beg, but Offie doesn’t reply. It doesn’t shut me out. Offie knows how afraid I am of being alone so it leaves the channel open. I could…

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The Illuminator Leaves – Molly Etta

When the Fata first found me, I was very small, and I had lost my voice. Nevertheless, she took me in, and proved both kind and cruel thereafter. I used to gesture pleas, begging for the return of my voice. But she never seemed to understand why I would want such a burdensome thing back. She gave me colors — gold leaf, ultramarine blue, vermillion — so that I could draw and paint instead of…

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