Choice – Tomas Marcantonio

The giant apartment complex was unfinished, like almost everything else in Pyongyang. It loomed over the city, a grey, oval-shaped mass rising like a fungal growth on the bank of the Taedong River, swarming with half-lived lives. The western side was wall-less, held together with sagging electrical wires and iron bones stripped of their skin. Multitudes of drones hovered outside windows, transporting deliveries or simply spying, like mechanical wasps searching for a nectar that no …

Magical Whistleblower Tells All – Michael Sherrin

August 19 FLYING MAN CLAIMS MAGIC IS REAL London – Magic exists, says Thaddeus Seams, 37. Mr. Seams claims to be a wizard belonging to a secret society with real magical abilities. Monday morning, Mr. Seams landed in Trafalgar Square, dressed in velvet robes and holding an alleged magic wand. “It looked like real magic,” said Daisey Patricks, 53, who was present when Mr. Seams arrived. “He was flying above our heads, then landed in …

Kozuna, the Ogre’s Child – Felicity Drake

The red rental car plunged into the tunnel. Hitomi’s eyes adjusted: the sun winked out, replaced by the yellow glow of sodium lights flashing by too fast. Professor Ueda had insisted on driving. Hitomi had offered, of course, but he had looked so indignant that she was reluctant to offer twice. For an elderly man, he was a remarkably reckless driver. The tunnel was narrow and winding, and if she’d been driving, she would have …

Notes from the Laocoön Program – Phoenix Alexander

The orbital module fails to detach and we ignite in the full-mouth kiss of the planet’s atmosphere, spinning with a velocity that pushes us to the black brink of unconsciousness. G-force grinds us into seats molded for our forms. There is the view through the porthole in my periphery – of jittering flame and cartwheeling stars and the glowing edges of unfamiliar continents – and the interior of the capsule in front of me. My …

The Dybbuk – Lewis Gershom

The lawyer tells Louis the item in the package once belonged to his grandfather. His grandfather’s will states that three days after his first grandson’s engagement, the grandson is to receive the package. Yes, the lawyer does know the contents; but no, she is not at liberty to divulge said contents. This is the grandfather who died when Louis’ mother was in college. This is the grandfather who never met Louis’ father. This is the …

What Lies in Light – Laura Duerr

I dream about the volcano again. The broad bowl of its crater is filled with shimmering light. I am standing at the rim like always, watching the warm and welcoming glow eddy and dance just a few feet below me in a swirling ocean of opal. I keep thinking I can see something beyond, or under, or within the lights, but it’s too distant to view clearly. I hear voices, too. That’s new. The voice …