The Unification of Worlds

“Diamma liked to imagine that the gold flecks in the left eye on the chimera’s fourth head, one of the fuzzy ones with bull-like crescent horns, had something to do with her own golden eyes.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Arcana: A Tarot Anthology, November 2017


Diamma’s scaly green tail curled to one side, then the other, swaying uneasily, as she stood in the open hatch of her spaceship.  Crystals of pink snow caught in her fiery, leonine mane as the flakes drifted down from the powder blue clouds of this world.  Snomoth.  For years, it had been a number in the registry on her ship; somewhere she would eventually go.  For the last few weeks, it had been a dot of light on the main viewscreen.  Now it was a faintly pink snowball, the color of cherry blossoms in the early spring, stretched out before her, waiting to freeze her toes when she stepped down from the hatch.

The final piece of the puzzle might be here, hidden underneath the pale pink snow. Continue reading “The Unification of Worlds”

The Moon Like An Unhatched Egg

“She steered the pod capsule toward the bulging globe of the abandoned, malfunctioning atmo-dome. It looked like a bead of water on the moon’s silver face.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Symbol of a Nation, June 2017


The moon stretched out in front of Jenn like an unhatched egg.  Full of possibility.  Full of portent.  In a few moments, the four pod capsules, including hers, would be ejected from the USS Fledgling, and the final competition would begin.  The winner would secure the continuation of their genetic line and be the first live astronaut to Mars.  All of them were uplifted birds, designed especially for this purpose, but only one would win. Continue reading “The Moon Like An Unhatched Egg”

Take Them to the Happiness Zoo

“Junie knew that Gorvall was only trying to ingratiate himself to her. It was working.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Theme of Absence, April 2016


Exhausted, Junie watched her five-year-old daughter and two toddler sons play with Gorvall.  They stacked up colored blocks and knocked them down. Gorvall’s long gray fingers helped pry apart the building blocks that stuck together.  The colorful towers reflected in his large, teardrop-shaped black eyes.

Continue reading “Take Them to the Happiness Zoo”

Birthing Class

“They weren’t talking about what everyone wanted to hear: the lifecycle of the aliens. But whispers passed through the audience, telling hushed rumors of one of the aliens visiting the hospital.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Theme of Absence, June 2016


Standing in the hospital lobby, Daniel spread his hands over the shirt covering his flat belly.  He tried to imagine the alien life growing inside him, but it didn’t seem real.  He didn’t feel any different than he had a week ago.

A couple women walked by Daniel, chatting with each other.  The base’s hospital was otherwise quiet at this time of evening.  Daniel turned back toward the row of glass doors that led out to the dry, desert air of Eridani Mu, wanting to leave the hospital.  The buildings of the human base were under the shadow of twilight now, but the majestic spires of the alien city in the distance were still lit by the pink-and-orange tinged sunset.  In only five years since the humans had crashed here, those spires had grown and stretched until they dwarfed the human base.  Continue reading “Birthing Class”

FemCloud Inc.

“That… uh… wasn’t the machine talking,” Dr. Orton said. “That sound came from your uterus.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, February 2014


Chloe lay on the table in the doctor’s office, wearing a paper sheet over her legs and one of those weird gowns that opened in the back.  She didn’t want to be pregnant, but she didn’t want to need an abortion.  She couldn’t help thinking about David — it had to be David — and what amazing genes he must have.  He’d talked like a character out of a fast-paced TV show, everything clever, insightful, and… much too articulate.  Continue reading “FemCloud Inc.”

Shreddy and the Zomb-dogs

“Glowing eyes looked into the night, and what Shreddy saw made his fur stand straight on end.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Anthropomorphic Dreams Podcast, November 2011


When Shreddy was a young cat, he and the Red-Haired Woman lived alone.  Shreddy enjoyed his youth and, in later years, he often daydreamed of those days before the Red-Haired Woman declared:  “I think I’ll take up a hobby.”

Shreddy wasn’t worried at the time.  She’d taken up a hobby before, growing orchids, and he’d found her pastime perfectly delightful.  Delectable, even.  This time, the Red-Haired Woman decided to grow something that Shreddy couldn’t eat. Continue reading “Shreddy and the Zomb-dogs”

The Necromouser

“If that machine could help him raise the dead — and possibly channel his mind into the resurrected corpses, using them as his minions — it would give him Great Power.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Nautilus Engine, July 2008


Shreddy never had a particular taste for fish, but he’d been in a sour mood for days.

The Red-Haired Woman had won their latest skirmish over the orchids.  She’d cordoned off the kitchen window with chicken wire.  Shreddy rattled the wire, pulling with his claws at the edges.  He shoved his face into the few centimeters between wire and wall, wrinkling his nose and squinting his eyes at the discomfort, but the wire didn’t have enough give.  Shreddy couldn’t get his head through. Continue reading “The Necromouser”

Gerty and the Doesn’t-Smell-Like-a-Melon

“It was oblong-round and green with paler green stripes: it looked like a melon. But… She sniffed all around it. And, then, she sniffed all around it again. It did not smell like a melon.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Golden Visions Magazine, October 2010


Gerty had been snuffle-snorting about the melon patches all morning.  She was looking for little people to play with, but all the bugs and mice seemed to be hiding today.  Dormancy was in the air.

She tried asking a bird to play with her, but it was so high in the branches of the karillow tree that she had to shout at it.  And the master scolded her for barking.  The bird flew away anyway.  They always did.

Continue reading “Gerty and the Doesn’t-Smell-Like-a-Melon”

The Wharf Cat’s Mermaid

“Mari scratched at the crate of fish, hoping to claw out a piece of the delectable flesh she smelled inside.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in ROAR Volume 5, July 2014


The scraggly white kitten crouched, trembling, behind the crates of fish.  The smell was thick, but the scraps were thin.  She’d been skittering from one stall to the next at Fisherman’s Wharf all day, mewing for bits to eat.  Few of the vendors favored her with more than a glance.  One had chased her off with a broom. Continue reading “The Wharf Cat’s Mermaid”

St. Kalwain and the Lady Uta

“Today, though, the sound of the hoof beats kept growing closer, and St. Kalwain scented oats, mint, and the salt of sweat in the air.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in ROAR Volume 4, June 2012


Snow bent the boughs of the karillow trees, and ice silvered the soft buds at their tips.  Spring had come too early this year, and all the eager young plants would pay a price for their enthusiasm.  Flowers killed by frost.

St. Kalwain didn’t mind the snow.  His black fur was thick and warm.  He found it insufferably so whenever he kept the company of humans.  Their houses were always warmed by raging hearth fires.  Their walls held in the heat.  And they insulated themselves with layers of cloaks and clothes.  They expected him to layer himself with clothes too.  He remembered a time when he chose to wear clothes out of modesty.  Now, he preferred to sleep in the wild.  In the snow.  Alone and far from humans. Continue reading “St. Kalwain and the Lady Uta”