The Arsenal of Obsolescence

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Voice of Dog, June 2021


“Clearly, these gerbils weren’t as primitive as they looked, and she needed to trust them. She needed to trust someone.”

Lieutenant Vonn crashed through the undergrowth of the wild alien rainforest.  The uplifted yellow Labrador felt like the branches were grabbing at her, tearing at her Tri-Galactic Navy uniform.  She hated this planet.  Usually, she liked planets.  Ground missions were her favorite — getting off the stuffy, artificial halls of the starship Initiative, and setting paw to dirt.  She lived for that stuff — fresh air, walking about in the sunshine!  But right now, all she could think about was Commander Wilker and Consul Tor, stuck in a hole in the ground — a deep, dark ditch; a trap lined with primitive pointed sticks that kept her from climbing safely down after them. Continue reading “The Arsenal of Obsolescence”

Crystal Fusion

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Voice of Dog, August 2021


“Yet she found herself speechless, staring at the crystal facets, mesmerized by the way the light played over them, winking and shining at her as if the light itself were a lifeform trying to catch her attention.”

“Here, let me carry those,” Lt. Vonn woofed to the team of scientists packing a crate with electronic devices that looked like funny mechanical spiders, sprouting metal legs in every direction.

The scientists — an orange tabby cat wearing techno-focal goggles, an arctic fox android, and a very striking brown cat with leopard spots — finished arranging the last few mechanical spiders, closed the top over them, and stepped back from the heavy crate gratefully.  Lt. Vonn stood a head and shoulders taller than all three of them — even the spotted cat, who was unusually tall for a cat. Continue reading “Crystal Fusion”

Fetching Asteroids

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Allasso, Volume 1: Shame, November 2011

“Ever since he was a pup who hadn’t yet grown into his giant feet and floppy ears, Jordan had known what he wanted to do with his life.”

The stars were thick, but the moons were thicker.  Every year for the last decade, Earth’s sky had grown brighter with the reflected light of new lunar satellites.  Generally a half a dozen small new moons per batch.  Jordan had been working hard.  He was a Labrador Retriever by heritage, and, back in human pre-history, those had been working dogs.

Ever since he was a pup who hadn’t yet grown into his giant feet and floppy ears, Jordan had known what he wanted to do with his life.  He’d spent all of high school working hard at the car wash, saving his nickels and dimes, and staring up at the stars at night.  Continue reading “Fetching Asteroids”

Ecto-Cafe

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Daily Grind, April 2019


“Doggonit. No pastries today. They were all possessed.”

Sunny reached for the strap of her ecto-pack, but before she could pull the bulky piece of technology out of the sedan’s hatchback, an imperious feline voice rang out from the driver’s seat:  “What do you think you’re doing?”

Sunny mumbled something about gearing up, but Ripley, the small white cat who was the de facto leader of the Ecto-Busters, cut the yellow lab off.  “You don’t need an ecto-pack to run into a cafe and pick up a quick snack.”

Continue reading “Ecto-Cafe”

Shreddy and the Zomb-dogs

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Anthropomorphic Dreams Podcast, November 2011


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

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”

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

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Golden Visions Magazine, October 2010


“Lainey kept asking about what the gryphons had been like, and the master told her what he remembered about them. Gerty, however, couldn’t keep listening. She was too worried by her latest find.”

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 Best and Worst of Worlds

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Dogs of War, January 2017


“Cats loved conquest; dogs needed adventure. But Cetazed otteroids were happy splashing about and playing.”

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”

Questor’s Gambit

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Gods With Fur, June 2016

“The Collie was trapped on an alien vessel with a critical mission to accomplish. He did not have time for this cat’s games.”

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.

And it was a goddamned beautiful planet on the viewscreen.  It was green and round and blue — everything that a planet should be, not like the desolate lava balls and crater-faced lumps in the last several star-systems.  This planet practically screamed, “Shore leave!” and Bill Wilker was ready to take up that cry. Continue reading “Questor’s Gambit”

Danger in the Lumo-Bay

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Inhuman Acts: A Collection of Noir, September 2015


“It felt amazing to break the rules instead of make them. For once, he could defy expectations, behave recklessly, and there would be no cost.”

Captain Pierre Jacques twitched his naked ears and swished his bare, pink tail as he stepped into the lumo-bay, a large, empty room with hexagonal, blue grid-lines on the walls.  Even though he was a hairless Sphynx cat, Captain Jacques always held an air of dignity.  No other cat or dog wore a Tri-Galactic Navy uniform with greater aplomb, but today Captain Jacques wasn’t wearing his uniform.  He was dressed in a pin-striped suit and a floor-length, tan trench coat, split down the back. Continue reading “Danger in the Lumo-Bay”

A Real Stand-Up Guy

by Daniel and Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Allasso, Vol. 3: Storge, April 2014


“Topher tried a few more routines, but he felt the audience growing colder and colder. He preferred to steer clear of the cat jokes, but he really wanted that money.”

Topher checked his watch and peeked out around the dusky red stage curtain.  There was a full house in the bar tonight.  If he played them right he could get all the tips he needed, and tonight could be the greatest night of his life.  Continue reading “A Real Stand-Up Guy”