Fox in the Hen House

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Dancing in the Moonlight: Rainfurrest 2013 Charity Anthology, September 2013


“…the chickens began to court their young squire. Some sang songs to him in warbling voices; others followed him around, plying him with eager compliments. As always, Henry loved the attention.”

The eggs never hatched. Henrietta and all her coop-mates laid eggs every day, and every day the Coopmaster came and took the eggs away. No baby chicks. Henrietta had so much love in her feathered breast and no one to spend it on.

Only nine inches below the slatted floor of the coop, a cold and hungry litter of fox kits waited for their mother to return. One by one, the kits closed their eyes and fell into a patient sleep. Their breathing slowed. Their hearts slowed too. Still, the mother did not return. Continue reading “Fox in the Hen House”

Where the Heart Is

Where the Heart Is-new-crop
“Do you ever miss your home worlds?” the red-wolf asked the others. He was a Heffen, and his species were refugees from a planet whose yellow dwarf star had expanded into a red giant.

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Stories of Camp RainFurrest, September 2011


Any human in the room would have seen an oversized koala bear, a bushy red-wolf, a long-tailed, green lizard, and a large blue fish wearing a diving helmet, floating bizarrely above his barstool. But there were no humans in the room. It was the All Alien Cafe on the interstellar meeting point known as Crossroads Station. Continue reading “Where the Heart Is”

Panda-Mensional

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Neo-Opsis, May 2015


“We’d have never even discovered that pandas have a gene allowing for quantum mechanical space jumping if we hadn’t improved their diet enough that they had the energy left over to use it.”

I point at the star map again, angrily saying, “Come on, Meijing! We only have a few hours of air left!” But the black-masked eyes blink at me impassively, profoundly uninterested in the yellow spot on the view screen under my fingertip. Continue reading “Panda-Mensional”

All the Cats of the Rainbow

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Necromouser and Other Magical Cats, September 2015


“A harmony of meows — higher pitched from Violet, Blue, and Indigo; subtly lower from Red — expressed surprise and confusion. All seven of Sarah looked at each other with wide green eyes, unchanged by the prism.”

Sarah was one of three dozen kittens who all lived in a cozy garage that had been retro-fitted into the perfect Persian cat playground. Scratching posts and cat toys littered the floor. The walls were a veritable maze of carpeted shelving — perfect for perching. Sarah ran wild with her sisters, brothers, litters worth of cousins, four aunts, mother, and grandmother. They were all fluffy, white, purebred fuzzballs just like her. She felt safe and loved. Continue reading “All the Cats of the Rainbow”

Cold Tail and the Eyes

Cold Tail and the Eyes
He tried to outwait the hunger, but it grew instead of going away. If the hunger wouldn’t leave, then Gray Tail would have to.

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Necromouser and Other Magical Cats, September 2015


One day, Mama Cat didn’t come back to her nest under the porch. She didn’t bring warm mice, freshly caught, for Gray Tail and his brothers to eat. She didn’t wash their faces and scold them for scuffling. She didn’t settle down, all warm on her side, for them to cuddle up next to. She simply wasn’t there at all. Continue reading “Cold Tail and the Eyes”

Songs of Fish and Flowers

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Lakeside Circus, March 2015


“She blinked her sun-dazzled eyes, surprised to see that, though the roses didn’t sing, they changed color.”

Pink roses twisted their petals, soaking in the afternoon sun. Red begonias and calla lilies decorated the edges of the rose beds. And, Carly, a white-faced calico sunned herself in the grass, enjoying the subtle scent of mint, rosemary, and catnip that drifted to her on the gentle wind. Continue reading “Songs of Fish and Flowers”

Shreddy and the Carnivorous Plant

Shreddy and the Carnivorous Planet
Shreddy liked chewing on plants. He wasn’t so sure he liked the idea of plants who did their own chewing.

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Necromouser and Other Magical Cats, September 2015


Shreddy was a tabby cat who liked to chew on plants. In the distant, glorious past, his owner had kept orchids in her kitchen window. These days, though, the Red-Haired Woman kept the house empty of plants. Shreddy had to roam the neighborhood, sampling the grasses, weeds, flowers, and herbs in other house’s gardens to get his fix of greens. His favorites were parsley, sage, thyme, and, of course, catnip. Continue reading “Shreddy and the Carnivorous Plant”

Shreddy and the Dancing Dragon

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Dragon’s Hoard, June 2015


“Night after night, the demonic PlayCube with its animated dragon summoned Shreddy’s Red-Haired Woman to it. Hour after hour, Shreddy watched her life being sucked away.”

The cardboard box, labeled Yay! PlayCube! on its sides, was more than big enough to hold Cooper, the blonde, curly-furred Labradoodle. Yet, somehow, Shreddy knew better than to hope that the Red-Haired Woman had brought in such a large, sinister box for any reason as comforting as to haul the annoying Labradoodle away. Continue reading “Shreddy and the Dancing Dragon”

Lunar Cavity

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Furry Future, January 2015


“Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes… massive geological instability.” The words were hard to say. He felt that each time he named one of these horrible side-effects that he might be conjuring one to crush loved ones, light years away, back on Wrombarra.

The air was too cold and the gravity too strong. But, Druthel liked the cave-like architecture. He was on the moon-world of Kong-Fuzi, a naked rock without even an atmosphere — only a few small atmo-domes, a scattering of boxy, airtight buildings, and a subterranean tunnel complex connecting them all. It circled the planet Da Vinci, capital of the Human Expansion, and it hosted the renowned and arrogantly named Wespirtech, the Western Spiral Arm Institute of Technology. Continue reading “Lunar Cavity”

Harvesting Wishes

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Lorelei Signal, January 2011


“The Harvester tells her genie customers that the wishes she harvests come from the overripe gold flowers gone to fluffy white seed. This, of course, is not true, but the genies love it.”

Most genies offer three. Where do they get them? The Harvester is an old woman, who wears a four-leafed clover in her locket and a garland of dandelions on her hair. The locket was a gift from a suitor, many years before, bought at the Crossroads Station bazaar. The dandelions have to be supplied fresh, daily. So, she keeps a greenhouse in the aft of her ship. The Harvester tells her genie customers that the wishes she harvests come from the overripe gold flowers gone to fluffy white seed. This, of course, is not true, but the genies love it. Continue reading “Harvesting Wishes”