Tides of Reflection – Mark Rookyard

The winds whispered promises of winter as they plucked with cold fingers at Silven’s shawl. She held it tighter around her shoulders and tucked her hair behind her ear. It was quiet on the cliff tops, the world seemingly shocked into appalled silence after the violence of the storm the night before. The sky was a parched blue, and diamonds of light danced on the sea under hazy pink clouds. The path along the clifftop…

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Gathering Dust – Meryl Stenhouse

There’s a bench I like to sit on, with my legs tucked up, pretending I’m just another student on break from university. People always have a smile for me—a young woman in the sun—until they see the sores and the thin wrists and then their eyes slide up and away, up and away as if they have just remembered something important. I grin at them and pick at the scratches on my arms, mindlessly or…

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Murder on the Adriana – James Ross

Go to sleep, both of you. Do you want a sad story, or a happy story? You’re right, I don’t know many happy stories. Did I ever tell you about the time I met Emily Davis on board the Adriana? It is a sad story, but there were some happy moments. No, this isn’t a war story, the Adriana was a cruise-liner. One of the very finest. This was just after the war. Hush now,…

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Whalesong – L. Chan

I savour the meal of plastic as I cut through the water; each pass a different symphony of flavour. It is sour and bitter by shifting degrees and always has been so. The meal brings me little comfort in my solitude. I would sing my complaints, but no one is left to hear them. My pod is gone; I am the last. I remember their songs and I moan them to the inky depths. There…

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The Sound Barrier – Tony Clavelli

The airlock releases with a clank and a cough and she’s out. Sunghee Cho floats down as the first of the Valiant’s crew to touch the surface. The ground crunches and she slides, scraping along the ice. The rover shuttle waits a short distance away, a hulking windowless box on caterpillar treads. The whole walk is unnecessary. There’s a jetway to the transport. It was how I arrived. But despite the radiation risk, people prefer…

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The Flight Home – Kaitlin McCloughan

The bees are as alive as they ever were. They glide through Jianmen village with sun glinting from metal wings, swooping between the faded white lattice of the town’s ornate bridge. The bees, originally programmed only to search for plants to pollinate, are drawn into orbit around an aging farmer hoeing a small plot of land. The farmer doesn’t flinch when the bees crawl up his sleeves and land in his hair. Unlike their long-gone…

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