Via Dolorosa – Christine Lucas

“Your father crapped himself,” croaks her aunt’s ghost. “Go clean him up!” “Yes, Aunt Katina.” Father craps himself every other hour; Maro needs to finish the bills first. But the numbers won’t add up. Father’s pension isn’t enough anymore. “Such a worthless daughter,” mutters the ghost. “I envy your mother, who’s not around to watch!” Of all the ghosts in this damned house, Aunt Katina had to be the talkative one. Maro shoves the bills …

Super – Yume Kitasei

The last time Jack Wu jumped off a building, he nearly lost an arm clipping the fire escape. Something wrong with his takeoff. Maybe it took a few seconds longer to catch an upstream or something, he didn’t know. God, it had hurt like hell. But then he was up in the arms of the grey sky again, his hands out in front of him in the night above the city, looking for trouble. When …

The Season of Withering – Lisa Short

Tamasin, called Abhasvar, watched from the concealing folds of her hood as the Riever and his men strode into the great hall. For a long, fearful moment she thought the Riever wouldn’t stop, would mount the dais alongside Piro and throw a too-jovial arm around his neck (and perhaps break it). But the Riever did stop at the foot of the dais, bracing his legs wide apart, teeth bared in a broad grin. He’d brought …

Darling – Kathryn Weaver

The damned shadows did me in. They should have been blue. Yellowish light should cast blue or violet shadows, every artist learned that. While disregard for basic colour principles was new and exciting in paint, in life it was awful. This evening, the gallery’s shadows were an unsavory shade of red, somewhere between wine vomited down the balustrade and the bloodstains I tried to suck out of my only silk waistcoat. Worse, no two of …

The Guardian of Werifest Park – Carly Racklin

The train car reeked of cigarettes and rumbled like a storm. Loud enough to drown out the voice of every passenger crammed inside it, but still Inez’s heartbeat rattled between her ears. It had started when she stuffed her backpack with clothes in the dark, and only boomed louder as she’d slipped out past her mother’s wheezy, sleeping form on the couch, thirty-six or so hours earlier. It had followed her through the cracked streets, …

Some Sun and Delilah – B. Morris Allen

“I’ll cut your hair,” she said impulsively one evening. “You’re getting shaggy, and far too blond with all this sun.” We were vacationing in the islands, trusting the fresh sea winds to bring life to stale hopes. We sat half-naked on limestone dust as soft as flour, and sifted it through our fingers. We’d made love as many times as there were shells strewn on the sand. It had brought back our glory days, when …