The Dragon’s Mask

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original, January 2023


“Faye smiled tentatively, settling into this new reality they were creating together out of lies, a reality where what she’d seen — a true dragon’s face, staring into hers from only inches away, begging to be seen, understood, and maybe loved — was only an illusion.”

Bark broke from the trunk of the sharillow trees in large, curved chunks, littering the forest floor along with their fallen leaves.  Storakka sifted through the pieces at the base of the biggest tree she could find, her talons running over the slightly curved sheaves of wood, rough on one side and smooth on the other.  Finally she found an oval one she liked, about the same size as a human face. Continue reading “The Dragon’s Mask”

Flowers Want to Be Free

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original, January 2023


“Sometimes, you hear about a dandelion managing to grow up from a crack in the concrete somewhere in the city. People who are lucky enough to find it go viral instantly with their pictures.”

The city stretches as far as I know in every direction.  Some kids at school say it covers the entire world, wrapping the globe of our planet in concrete snakes and strangling tentacles, dimpling its surface with metal and glass towers.  I don’t know if they’re right.  The websites that would tell me for sure — the good, scientific, trustworthy ones — are behind paywalls, and my parents say we can’t trust what we read on the free sites.

I know we can’t trust what we’re taught in school. Continue reading “Flowers Want to Be Free”

Pen Pals with the Tooth Fairy

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original, December 2022


“I lost my tooth tonight, so you could meet Santa Claus. I know you will fall in love.”

Ella didn’t like apples, but she’d been trying to wiggle her loose tooth out for an hour.  Now it was almost bedtime, and if she didn’t eat something with a big CRUNCH, then she wouldn’t get to introduce the tooth fairy to Santa Claus.  So, she took the crunchiest looking apple from the kitchen counter — one of the horrible green ones that her mother liked — and sank her teeth into its sour flesh.

Bingo.  She spat out the mouthful of apple into her palm… and her tooth too! Continue reading “Pen Pals with the Tooth Fairy”

Why You Should Follow Me Back on Social Media

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original, December 2022


“In none of those alternate dimensions, all those tangled webs and threads of the multiverse that I can access through my multi-verse-telescope-o-meter, have you ever once … followed me back.”

1. I’ve consulted with the Oracle of Delphi and asked her whether you and I would ever be friends. She said we would be the best of friends, and Apollo would sing songs of our friendship on Mount Olympus.  Hestia will smile, sweetly and secretly, as she stirs her hearth fires and thinks of our friendship.  Bacchanals will be held in our friendship’s honor.

2. I have a time travel machine, and that’s just really cool. After you’ve followed me back on social media, and we become friends (good friends; I don’t let just anyone use my time machine) I’ll let you use it.   Continue reading “Why You Should Follow Me Back on Social Media”

The Dreaming Arm

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original, December 2022


“The dreaming arm had doomed them all, urging them to spend energy they didn’t have to spare…”

One arm sagged.  Seven arms writhed and worked, puckering their sucker discs and pulling the joint-being they composed across the slippery rocks.  The gaspingly dry, slippery rocks.  But the sagging arm — as little as it helped with pulling, and as much as it acted like a dead weight needing to be pulled — had dreamed about crossing the rocks.  It had dreamed of wonders on the other side.  And seven other arms had listened to those dreams.  Been compelled by those dreams, drawn to explore the rocks at the top edge of the ocean. Continue reading “The Dreaming Arm”

Flerble Gerbil was a Hologram

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original, November 2022


“I don’t want to hurt anyone, even gerbils,” the metal grasshopper said in a high-pitched voice. “Are you going to hurt me?”

A tiny metal object jumped through Lea’s open window, drawing her attention away from the Animorphs book she’d been reading.  She put down the borrowed e-reader from her mom on the bed and went over to investigate.

Lea hadn’t seen the object very well — it had been moving too fast.  Just a blur really.  But it had reflected the sunlight, shining like a quarter thrown into a fountain, outshining all the pennies around it.  So, she wondered if it might be valuable. Continue reading “Flerble Gerbil was a Hologram”

Black Swans

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original, October 2022


“Why are you afraid of the black swans? They’re only swans, floating on the surface of a lake, gleaming with the depth of nebulas in their feathers.”

I watch the lake, peaceful and serene; white swans float on it with the graceful delicacy and stillness of ice sculptures or many-tiered, fondant-covered wedding cakes.

Then the black swans come.  One after another.  Crashing into the water, wings spread wide and flapping.

Progress has begun. Continue reading “Black Swans”

Cosmic the Pangolin

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original, October 2022


“She ran until — and this had never happened to the zippy little pangolin before — she started to feel tired.”

Cosmic the Pangolin raced over the hills and vales of Mossy Valley Zone, her clawed feet skipping across the emerald ground so fast her talons left burning skid marks in the grass behind her.  She saw a loop-de-loop looming ahead where the ground swerved into the sky and in preparation she curled her head forward, tucking her chin; then she dropped into a complete roll, her entire nebula-purple body tightening into an armored ball.

She raced forward at an unbelievable speed, leaving the grass burnt behind her.  She raced the clock.  She raced against time.  She raced herself on previous attempts at this zone.  But most importantly, she raced against Professor Robotron and her diabolical mechanical chickens. Continue reading “Cosmic the Pangolin”

Sarah Flowermane and the Unicorn

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original, September 2022


“I want to grow a mane,” Sarah stated simply. “A mane of flowers. I know you have magic. Can you help me?”

The lion cub hid among the rushes and narcissus flowers at the edge of the lake and watched her father, King of the Jungle, meet and talk with the shining white unicorn who presided over the deep dark woods adjacent to the lions’ sunny savanna home.

Sarah thought the unicorn’s forest looked more like a jungle than their savanna did, and she wanted to tell the unicorn that… but she’d promised her father to hide quietly during his meeting.  He only brought one cub with him at a time to these meetings, and given her plethora of sisters, brothers, half-siblings, and cousins, Sarah’s turn to accompany her father didn’t turn up very often.  She wanted to prove she could be a good little cub, so she stayed quiet as a mouse. Continue reading “Sarah Flowermane and the Unicorn”

Not Spider-Man and the Seven Angel Donors

“The boy’s parents couldn’t take time off of work to grieve for their sleeping princess boy, because they worked at Mal-Wart, and without the protections of a union, they couldn’t afford any time off.”

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original, June 2022


This is not a story about Spider-Man, because Spider-Man is owned by a company.  This is a story about a young boy, on his first day of high school, who was bitten by a spider and fell asleep like a princess in a fairytale.  He fell asleep for the life of the author — which in this case would be his parents — plus seventy years. Continue reading “Not Spider-Man and the Seven Angel Donors”