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 …

Misalignment – Erik Goldsmith

When Levy Green awoke, he looked around for a few blinking moments, and did not try to remember. He was alone. Through an open window, he could see it was day. Something, somewhere was beeping. An ache began to throb in his forehead and, after a bit of searching, he discovered an unfamiliar incision just below his hairline. The words What if I came into his mind. What if I what? he asked himself and …

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, …

A Final Resting Place – Matt Hornsby

The lander sloped down from orbit towards the jagged peninsula that leaked westwards from Earth’s great landmass. Salzmann’s eyes tracked across the surface as they broke the cloud cover. It stretched brown-green to the limits of his vision, shorn of angles and straight lines. He heard Nguyen grumble under her breath as she wrestled with the command console, urging the craft towards a suitable landing site. When he had offered to co-pilot, she declined, and …