Lake Oreyd – Damien Krsteski

The lake’s still surface was a golden quilt. The churches which amassed along the shore over the centuries now had their fossilized features balanced between day and night. A most sacred moment. The eyestalks, V-shaped like the chalice from which the Savior had drunk her poison, framed the setting sun, the tails like the scepters with which she’d been prodded to trial facing the rising moon. One intake of breath, the sun dipped down, pulling…

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Bad News from the Future – Angus Cervantes

“If you’re really my future self,” I said, “convince me.” “Because stopping time isn’t convincing.” “I believe you have a time machine. Prove you’re me.” I tried again to straighten my head. “If you’re me, you know how.” He smiled, sort of, anxious lines softening around his mouth. Would I become this sour-faced man? “And I know you’ve thought this through. Three secrets nobody knows.” “Now, only things I’d never tell any—” “In the treefort…

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The Lost Heirs of Rose McAlder – Kate Lechler

When Rose McAlder died at eighty-five, it took us all of an hour to congregate on her property, rubbing our hands and stamping our feet against the October chill. We hadn’t known it was she who had lived in the big old house on the corner of Seventh and Price all those years. When the news broke that morning—not only was Norbury’s local recluse dead, but she also happened to be a famous author—we poked…

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Just Five Minutes – George Allen Miller

“Can I get five for fifteen?” an old man said. Jerome looked up from the sidewalk and into the old man’s eyes. Junior was a local; he’d grown up two houses down the street, though he didn’t live there anymore. He usually slept in the alley behind Tenth Street, beside a dumpster. His wrinkled face, half covered with patches of gray beard, held a mix of sadness and pain, just like every other long time…

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The Naked Me – N. Immanuel Velez

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…

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Halfsies – Eric Del Carlo

The new word seemed somehow old-fashioned. Halfsies. Like how Tariq’s sun-shrunken, onetime surfer grandfather would say “rad” when he deemed some event or circumstance especially good. Halfsies, as a term, sounded funny and harmless. But it wasn’t meant to be funny, Tariq had learned. And it sure as hell wasn’t harmless, not according to Tariq’s friend from the liberated camp, Kayleigh, who explained to him, “It’s a prejudice word.” The human soldiers who had come…

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