Unmasked – Tomas Marcantonio

There isn’t much difference between night and day in this city, but we know it must be night when the train comes. It stops in the centre of the city inside its glass tube, the passengers standing shoulder to shoulder with their faces at the window: The Rat, The Flamingo, The Impala, several more, all of them watching us. After an hour or so the train moves on, out through the wall that encircles the …

The Memory Dresser – Nicholas M. Stillman

Our parlor is small—tucked in a corner of Helm, folded between an empty Gassa stall and the home of a half-deaf mystic. For this reason, discretion numbers as one of our services. Not even the moon bears full witness, as Illsea, the largest Tower on the hill, shades us from the first few hours of evening light. Under our lamps, we shape the memories of the people of Helm, our people. Unlike the royals in …

In the Beating of a Wing – David Cleden

When his mother calls, Chester is in the back yard tending to his various projects, which all seem to be going badly. “Chester!” Her voice is shrill and tired-sounding, as though she’s been crying again. “Inside now, please.” He ignores her, head bent over his work. The frankenstem is dying, and he’s sad about that. The books he’s read make it sound easy—how you can graft cuttings from one plant onto another, taking the best …

One for the Wounded – Phoenix Alexander

“Minutes… they are the easiest to kill,” he whispered. His voice was thick with the drowsiness of spent passion; I thought he had fallen asleep, and felt grateful that he was staying awake with me a little longer. “You need something sharp… Cut their throats. Hit them on the head. Hard and accurate. Break their necks.” I remember thinking that it was an odd thing for him to talk about, this killing. So I lay …

Somewhere to be Going – Katrina Smith

The changeling boy goes to space in a ship of his own making. Late at night, as the house sleeps, he labors over steel and circuits in his father’s garage. Next to the classic Tesla S and the mid 20th century Cadillac with predatory tailfins, Corbin carves curves into plastic, coaxes lines of electricity until they bloom like branching veins in the structure of his heart’s desire. As dawn begins he steps back to look …

The Noise Inside – Vaya Pseftaki

Sheyen swallows hard and his ears pop. The Noise stops. How long did it last this time? He glances at the water-clock fixed on the wall. Longer than before. It first came a month ago, on his fourteenth birthday, along with the hair. That day, he woke up to a humming, drenched in sweat and with the smooth skin of his head itching. And no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t pinpoint where the …