Joy (Unplugged) – B.C. van Tol

A reddish moon clung to the horizon like a faded blood stain that wouldn’t wash out. Joy shivered, looking at the moon’s human-like face from her attic window, wishing she could pull him to her. Together, they could agonize in this lonely house atop the hill. From afar, his mouth hung agape, as though wailing in silent operatic sorrow. The silence pervaded the dark, motionless town nestled in the valley below. From Joy’s vantage point, …

All That Remains – Michael Gardner

The boy doesn’t have a name, but Father calls him Progeny. He was born underground, and grew up in near darkness. In the tunnels. Walking the spaces between compact earthen walls, buttressed intermittently with wooden beams, glow worms the only luminescence. His eyes are good. He sees shapes where Father sees shadows. He sees shadows where Father sees nothing. He walks now, very quietly. Now is the quiet time. It is a rule. He hunches …

Calling Me Home – Spencer Nitkey

The entanglement circuit burns as it lights a fire right behind my eyes. I hear my daughter crying in the moments before the circuit switches. An imagined voice, I’m sure. Then the pain spreads like blood through my chest, and the stars outside the transport ship window slow, stop, and disappear. I come to in my bed back home. The baby monitor plays a low whine that crescendos into a full-scale cry. It is the …