The Crowds on Crossroads Station

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, July 2017


“He knew he’d out-stepped his place, but he was suddenly very excited about seeing the insides of Crossroads Station.”

Roscoe’s velvety nose twitched, but his long ears stood tall in spite of his jittery nerves.  The view of Crossroads Station on the viewscreen was intimidating:  three concentric wheels, rotating in alternating directions, each one lined with rows after row of glowing windows.  Shuttle pods and star cruisers of all designs were docked on the outer ring. Continue reading “The Crowds on Crossroads Station”

Galaxy Shaker and the Celestial Rainbow Dragon

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Every Day Fiction, June 2017


“…she looked like a mythical creature — a celestial rainbow dragon — not merely a pop-star reptilian alien with a good stage crew.”

Star Shaker’s scales glittered and shone with rainbow colors under the spotlights.  Her barbed tail swayed, and she flapped her tiny vestigial wings as she sang into the mic.  With the backdrop of stars behind her, she looked like a mythical creature — a celestial rainbow dragon — not merely a pop-star reptilian alien with a good stage crew. Continue reading “Galaxy Shaker and the Celestial Rainbow Dragon”

Inalienable Rights

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, August 2017


“With a nervous twitch of his nose, Roscoe opened a communication channel to the planet below…”

Roscoe’s long ears would not stand tall, no matter how he strained to hold them up.  His reflection in the empty viewscreen looked haggard and scared, but he’d stared at it for long enough trying to compose himself.  He would never be composed.  He had to proceed anyway.

With a nervous twitch of his nose, Roscoe opened a communication channel to the planet below, and moments later, a familiar face filled the viewscreen:  his cousin Chilchi.  Her ears stood tall. Continue reading “Inalienable Rights”

Principles Over Profit

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, August 2017


“…only Chorif and Roscoe knew where the High Royal Quejon’s vessel had crashed… along with its cargo load of lovely, shimmering jewels.”

Chorif held out her upper wing, spreading her feathers to admire the rings and bracelets and pins she’d fastened among her pinions.  Her wing glittered with gems from the ice asteroids around Tau Ceti and glowed with Erdidaniian opals.  She looked like a queen, and she clacked her hooked beak happily.

All of the salvage crews based out of Crossroads Station had been searching for the lost High Royal Quejon’s vessel for months, but only Chorif had thought to seek out the uplifted lapine servant who’d run away from the Quejon and enlist his services. Continue reading “Principles Over Profit”

Crescent Horns and Tall ears

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, September 2017


“Narchi waited no further. She grabbed a chair from a neighboring table and shoved her way in to the family gathering of rabbit aliens.”

The little lapine aliens hopped into the bar, one after the other, noses twitching and long ears swiveling.  Narchi had never seen their species in the All Alien Cafe before, and all of a sudden, here were a dozen.

Narchi’s heavy hunched shoulders straightened a little at the sight of the group of them.  There was something comforting about how they moved together, leaning in to whisper one to the other, all a part of a little herd. Continue reading “Crescent Horns and Tall ears”

Necessary as a Rose

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Kaleidotrope, January 2020


“Because when there’s something fragile but wonderful to tend to, something that needs you, something that you can watch grow and blossom… It’s easier to survive the darkness outside.”

Sleek and silver, your spaceship sliced through the darkness of space.  Cold, mechanical, everything a rocket needed to be to survive the harshness of vacuum and background radiation and simply the crushing depression of being totally isolated in the middle of a vast nothingness.

But inside.

Yes inside, a bubble of warmth and life support.  Oxygen, nitrogen, puffy gases expanding out to fill the mechanical shell.  All those good ingredients that let humans breathe.  And dogs breathe.  And cats breathe. Continue reading “Necessary as a Rose”

Paper Horn

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, September 2020


“”I don’t think she’d love me even if I was a real unicorn,” Tulip said.”

The paper cone I’d taped together from an old piece of algebra homework slipped off the pony’s forehead and landed in the clover at her hooved feet.  Mallory laughed derisively and said, “What were you trying to do?  Play unicorn?”

The pony, Tulip, turned her head away, abashed, but she didn’t say anything.  I couldn’t believe Mallory was lucky enough — and rich enough — to be given a real Smart Pony for her birthday, and still stupid enough to treat that pony like trash. Continue reading “Paper Horn”

The Pink Agate

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, September 2018


“…when told to pick an agate to represent her in the mosaic, the little lizard girl had picked the pinkest, warmest looking stone of them all. A warm stone to represent a cold-blooded child.”

Clori, a koala-like woman, twisted wires about the pink and white agate in her paws, bending the delicate silver strands carefully with her claws.  When she was done, the heart-shaped stone’s wavy lines were cradled in a net of silver that she hung from the mosaic of agates — each one collected by one of her adopted children. Continue reading “The Pink Agate”

The Oldest One

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, September 2018


“Anno wondered what it would be like to live in a family where everyone was the same species…”

Anno watched her mother tuck in each of her siblings to their differently shaped beds.  Lut folded his feathered wings into his nest-bed; T’reska stretched out her scaly-green back on her heated bed of rocks; and Iko cradled her primatoid body, swinging lightly, in her hammock.  And that was just in this room.  The younger ones had been put to bed in their own room an hour ago. Continue reading “The Oldest One”

One Alien’s Wreckage

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, June 2017


“She cradled the caterpillar-like creature in her arms, rocking it and making low cooing sounds to it.”

Chorif’s round feathered face stared down at the contents of the cryo-pod, and her wide copper eyes narrowed.  She had been expecting to find valuable cargo for salvage; instead, all she saw was a squirmy green-fleshed larva, about the length of Chorif’s upper wing.

“Anything in there?” Amy called out.  She was another space-wreck scavenger. Continue reading “One Alien’s Wreckage”