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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Trucks in Reverse – Christopher Cervelloni

Kevin’s dad drove the huge water truck out the town gate every Wednesday morning. The brake lights glowed bright red when the truck stopped and the guards opened the gate. The lights dimmed, then disappeared as the truck rolled out beyond the town’s fortified walls. On those mornings, Kevin’s mom always woke early to boil the water and pour coffee into his dad’s big thermos. She packed him the best of their pantry: seasonal fruit…

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The Early History of the Moon – Karolina Fedyk

Warsaw, 1812 Before Warsaw, I had spent days inventing myself as a pianist. Tailoring my biography, imagining what could happen in my possible lives. Love, perhaps, there was place for love; politics even, for it seemed inevitable. Betraying my kin—and then death—came merely as consequences. # The evening is cold: autumn has taken hold over us already. The train rolls into its final station, accompanied by a grinding screech and thick puffs of steam. People…

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Ways to Face the Firing Squad – Anna Zumbro

Pleadingly Marshall’s innocent. There’s been looting and worse everywhere since the missiles hit, but he’s taken nothing except a jacket he found in an abandoned car. It’s not honor that keeps him from stealing, he’s just scared he’ll screw it up, and then what will Dad say? The man breathed anger even before the day the sky burst into flames, the day Mom didn’t come home. Dad doesn’t yell any more, but Marshall knows the…

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