Pleasing the Giants – Carolyn Lenz

Deiderick raced down the cobblestone street, the hollow sound of his footsteps barely audible over the singing around him. It wouldn’t take long for his mother and father to notice him missing. He was supposed to be arranging tulips now, in full view of the giants, just as their boat passed. But they wouldn’t ask where he was. They wouldn’t show any anger or disappointment in him. Their smiles wouldn’t falter, not when the giants …

Five Star Review – Alyssa N. Vaughn

“We need to get serious about losing weight.” my mother says as she tosses the empty pizza boxes next to the recycling bin. “I beg your pardon?” I manage to sputter, following behind her to break the boxes down into smaller pieces that will actually fit inside the bin. My toddler, Johnny, is in bed already, but my mother insists that we have “girl time” at the end of each one of her unannounced visits. …

Graveyard – Arlen Feldman

The crew had already started calling it the graveyard. If it was a graveyard, it would be hard to choose a bleaker site for it, on a planet pretty much made up of bleak sites. I walked as close as I dared to the edge of the cliff, and looked down over a thousand meters of sharp gray crags spreading out all around under a dark, thunderous sky. I felt the wind tugging at me, …

When the Last Friend is Gone – Tris Matthews

Butler found Pebbles dead in the morning. Each day, the moment Butler became active at 6 a.m. sharp, the little old dog’s stumpy legs would carry her over to seat herself royally in front of the enormous and rusty Cadillac-themed refrigerator to watch. Butler would ruffle the flops and folds of skin on the top of her head before serving up her breakfast and then turning to other chores. Today, Pebbles didn’t come. Butler washed …

A House on the Volga – Filip Wiltgren

The kalanchoes are blooming, a dusting of tiny pink flowers on dark jade leaves. “Please, grandmama, hurry up,” says Darius, voice tiny, his heart carried on the radio from the ship. He is a good boy, caring for his grandmother. His heart was in his house, but he is grown, a young man, and the house is no more. It is good that he leave. The kalanchoe spins in my hands, as I cover it …

The Astronaut Tier – Jonathan Laidlow

Farren opened the door to the bailiffs and let them in. They pushed into the apartment wordlessly, and began to itemise her former life, ticking boxes on clipboards while they opened drawers and rifled shelves. The last to enter was a wiry middle-aged woman who, with a kind smile, invited Farren to sign, thus demonstrating her understanding that her possessions were now the property of Ares II’s creditors. She asked if the coffee in the …