Shiplight – Benjamin C. Kinney

“Right there, any moment now. Their future,” Jacob said, resentment thick and sour in his mouth. He pointed up into the night sky, above the heads of the close-packed crowd on the porch. Everyone was silent. Despite everything, Jacob and all the other Sea-born natives held their breath. A fresh pinprick appeared in the night’s threadbare shroud. A new star, flickering and bright with the flare of the decelerating pulse drive. Shiplight. Voices erupted in…

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So, You’re In an Alternate Universe – Jeremy Packert Burke

So, you’re in an alternate universe. It doesn’t feel alternate. Your mom is still your mom, who smells like fennel, with red-rubbed knuckles. Your dad still has his large tie collection: his wooden tie, his Yellow Submarine tie, his tie that looks like a large fish. Hitler was still Hitler, and Stalin, Stalin. The sun outside is very yellow—is it too yellow? Is that the difference? The scar on your knee is still there. Eileen…

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Out Where the Rivenbuds Grow – Mark Rookyard

The second sun sat low in the sky, its pale red light smeared through a blanket of grey clouds. The winter had been a long one; five years, and the rivenbuds were a rare splash of colour in the world. Caitlin fed the plants, her hands wet and dirty. The winding stems twisted above her, green and bright. The flowers of the rivenbuds were blue, red and white, and a score of colours in between.…

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Duet for Unaccompanied Cello – Chanel Earl

My favorite place to practice the cello will always be the observatory. My friend Jamie, an astronomer, first let me in one day when the sun was up and visibility was nil. I practiced for hours under its high dome, right next to the telescope. The echo of music in the observatory was singular: less vibrant than a racquetball court, more round than a stadium stairwell, a fuller sound than I have found in any…

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The Last – Premee Mohamed

Erik was balanced atop one of the standing stones on the black pebble beach when the elders told him of his father’s death. Drowned, they said. Out at Sampson Fjord. Killed by Old Blue. Darkness overtook him and he spilled boneless from the stone, was caught and laid on the wet weeds of the tideline. Elder Erde lifted his ankles into the air with one hand. Erik’s friends paused incuriously, then wandered off. “I want…

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Serenity – Jeanette Gonzalez

Nikki shook the can and sprayed again, trailing a long, jagged streak of crimson paint to the far end of the wall until the contents came to a sputtering halt. He stepped back to the crowded sidewalk to admire his handiwork. He had defaced twelve buildings around Reflection Square. Eight houses, a grocery store, and three shops, all built of smooth, white stone and lined in neat rows with equally tidy flowerbeds. Mature trees dotted…

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