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 …

Absurd of a Feather – Amman Sabet

I’m getting a note from my doctor that will keep me out of the pool for gym. It’s not that I can’t swim. Last year I came in third place for breast stroke. This is different. I’m uncomfortable with taking my shirt off now, and I’d rather spend the period studying in the library while the other kids do laps and cannonball into the deep end. “Terrence,” my doctor tells me in his examining room. …

Pleasing the Giants – Carolyn Lenz

Deiderick raced down the cobblestone street, the hollow sound of his footsteps barely audible over the singing around him. It wouldn’t take long for his mother and father to notice him missing. He was supposed to be arranging tulips now, in full view of the giants, just as their boat passed. But they wouldn’t ask where he was. They wouldn’t show any anger or disappointment in him. Their smiles wouldn’t falter, not when the giants …

The Soul Farmer’s Daughters – Kyle Kirrin

Thirteen souls flit about in mason jars on the mantle above my workbench. They’re bright—luminescent, even—but they’re not potent enough for the Duke. I glance at the ghostly light flickering within Vella’s abdomen, then pull another stool up next to mine. “Come, sit. I’ve got a surprise for you.” She joins me. “But isn’t—” “He’s still a little ways out. We’ve got time.” Seventeen minutes to be exact, I think, but never say. “Close your …