The Doctor’s Mask – Taylor Hornig

I let Cameron take me to him, but I already knew where he was. I smelled him as clearly as I smelled old Barty’s woodsmoke. He had a bad scent. Sweet and sick, like rotting flowers. “Did you touch him?” I asked. It was a frigid afternoon, the sun clear and bright, the air frosty and still. When Cameron spoke, his breath bloomed in a cloud of white. “No, Dr. Slatewall.” The boy clambered onto …

The Stars are Tiny Lights on a Perfect Black Dome – Simon Kewin

“Chancellor, it’s Zend, at the University. One of your research students. I think you should come and see something.” The voice on the other end of the line was groggy. The Chancellor didn’t bother to keep the irritation from his voice. “Are you aware what hour it is, Zend?” “Sorry, yes, it’s late, I know. Or I mean early, depending on how you look at it.” “Have we inadvertently fabricated another black hole in Astrophysics? …

The Nature of Glass – Sandi Leibowitz

Whispers from the Jewish quarter about the raising of a golem. A clock where every hour Death pursued sins and set them quaking. Astronomy, botany, art. Bohemia in the days of Rudolf II was famed for many things. Among them was the making of glass. Zoja was a master glassblower who lived in the outskirts of Prague. In her youth she had married Jozef, learned his trade and worked alongside him. What greater happiness than …

The World’s Secret Heartbeat – Aatif Rashid

Blake tried once again to start his car, a mustard-yellow vintage two-door from back when companies still made gasoline cars — but the engine only sputtered and groaned. It sounded to Khalid like a dying person, coughing and wheezing through its final moments of life with a few last and naive gasps of ill-conceived hope. “I told you we should have taken the electric,” Khalid said. “Don’t worry!” Blake called from the driver’s seat. “It’ll …

Hearts and Roses – Kathryn Yelinek

Every morning at exactly 8:47, three things happened: a swallow fed three nestlings in the eaves outside the mistress’s bedchamber, a rabbit nibbled grass beside the white stone driveway, and a crow pecked at something that caught the morning sun on the perimeter wall. Leaving her feather duster on the dressing table, Rosa opened the window and leaned out to watch. The breeze smelled of honeysuckle and blew warm over her light green skin, rustling …

Pandemonium – Allison Epstein

Belial sighed as the Brown Line clattered overhead, sending aftershock tremors through the tracks to the pavement. He kicked a stray chip of gravel ahead of him as he walked, his hands pressed deep in his pockets. “I hate this city,” he muttered, mostly to fill the nearly deserted street with the sound of his own voice. “Too much fucking iron.” The woman walking behind him slackened her pace, widening the distance between them. He …