BetaU – T. B. McKenzie

On Sunday, Janie’s com pinged with a message from her cousin who worked for Visage, one of the big city body-mod firms. You should go for this! read the underlined text, which took her to a minimalist page with the company name, BetaU in the middle and a single link at the bottom: Employment Opportunities. Only the fanciest places hired humans any more, and Janie’s curiosity sparked, if not her hope, for they’d only want …

The Abjection Engine: Fragments From the Diary of Alexi Alanovonovich – Y. X. Acs

Among the infinite forms which the natural world delivers us, none is more fascinating, more truly wonderful, than that incomprehensibly complicated movement referred to, in its entirety, as ‘human life’. True comprehension of life, with its fathomless direction and astonishing intricacy, may ever elude us, and yet we can readily apprehend it as a form of movement; a unitary mass being moved by a force, and thereby, no matter its nature, may come to know …

One Divided by Eternity – Filip Wiltgren

My happiest ending would be if Offie moved in here and I weren’t alone all the time. “I can’t, Chilli,” Offie says. “There’s not enough room for me.” I know that but I keep asking. I hate being alone. I hate it, hate it, hate it. “Please,” I beg, but Offie doesn’t reply. It doesn’t shut me out. Offie knows how afraid I am of being alone so it leaves the channel open. I could …

The Illuminator Leaves – Molly Etta

When the Fata first found me, I was very small, and I had lost my voice. Nevertheless, she took me in, and proved both kind and cruel thereafter. I used to gesture pleas, begging for the return of my voice. But she never seemed to understand why I would want such a burdensome thing back. She gave me colors — gold leaf, ultramarine blue, vermillion — so that I could draw and paint instead of …

Trucks in Reverse – Christopher Cervelloni

Kevin’s dad drove the huge water truck out the town gate every Wednesday morning. The brake lights glowed bright red when the truck stopped and the guards opened the gate. The lights dimmed, then disappeared as the truck rolled out beyond the town’s fortified walls. On those mornings, Kevin’s mom always woke early to boil the water and pour coffee into his dad’s big thermos. She packed him the best of their pantry: seasonal fruit …

Light Winds With a Chance of Velociraptors – Michelle Ann King

“That’s the worst thing about the end of the world,” Elsie said, staring mournfully into a teacup that had long ago been licked clean of every last drop of Tetleys and soggy crumb of custard cream. “Routines go straight out the window.” Harry glanced away from the TV, which was showing aerial footage of a tiger chasing pigeons in Trafalgar Square. “Really? That’s the worst part? It’s not the deaths of millions and the imminent …