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”
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.
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”
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”
Five officers of the Tri-Galactic Navy and one exchange officer from the planet Cetazed teleported down to a clearing on Planet 328’s surface. The cats and dogs of the Tri-Galactic Navy were good people, and Consul Eliana Tor didn’t regret leaving her homeworld to become an exchange officer. Not exactly. But she missed the flavor of the sunlight on Cetazed, and not only did her empathic abilities make her a fish out of water around these cats and dogs with their non-empathic minds, but they let her read the cats’ and dogs’ emotions — especially their feelings about her — constantly. Continue reading “The Best and Worst of Worlds”
Originally published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, March/April 2017
“Can you breathe fire if you eat rocket fuel?” asked Alison, the captain’s five-year-old daughter.
S’lisha drew a deep, calming breath through her scaly nostrils. She didn’t understand why humans brought their children on spaceships. Her species kept their larval offspring in caves on their home world until they matured and their adult scales grew in. Continue reading “Hidden Intentions”
Originally published in Claw the Way to Victory, January 2016
“You’re distracted,” Lizzie said. The asymmetrical white splotch on her tabby face made her look sloppy and unprepared, even when she was dressed in her prim skating leotard with her ice skates tightly laced up her hind-paws. Continue reading “Marge the Barge”
Commander Bill Wilker’s angular muzzle split into a wide Collie grin, and he smoothed down his ruff of fur that spilled regally out of the collar of his Tri-Galactic Navy uniform. “That’s a goddamned beautiful lookin’ planet,” he said. Continue reading “Questor’s Gambit”
Originally published in A Glimpse of Anthropomorphic Literature, Volume 3, August 2016
Maureen lumbered toward the Re-Incorpus Center, feeling horribly large and conspicuous. Wire fencing on either side of the sidewalk protected her from the yelling protesters. Nothing protected her from reading the hateful slogans on their signs: Re-Incorpus Is Murder! Vat-Bodies Have No Souls! Death to Gen-Clones!Continue reading “The Mouse Who Was Born a Bear”
Originally published in A Glimpse of Anthropomorphic Literature, Issue 2, March 2016
Sheep tell many tales as they graze. There’s little to do in a grassy field but count the clouds, search for four-leafed clovers, and tell tall tales. Yet, some of the sheep’s tales are true, and when Soft-as-Snow stares at the clouds with her liquid brown eyes, she isn’t counting them. She’s searching, seeking, and hoping against hope — waiting for White Wings to return to her. Continue reading “Sheeperfly’s Lullaby”