Originally published in Oxfurred Comma Flash Fiction Contest, July 2022
Amber fluid dripped from the hive, but it wasn’t honey. It was thick and gooey and satiated. The amorphous being, gold and honey-like, had infiltrated the hive, feasted on the honey and then on the worker bees who’d made the honey; then the drones who the worker bees had waited on; and finally, on the delectable morsels of unfinished dough that were the eggs and pupae.
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.
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.
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”
Originally published in Theme of Absence, January 2016
The salesman, Devin, shows me another junker — dented fender, bald tires, and a crack in the windshield.
“These cars look like death traps,” I say. “You don’t seriously expect anyone to buy them?”
Devin laughs, a hollow, plastic sound. “They’re all bargains!” He looks over his shoulder, back at the dealership building with a half-burned out neon sign, Bob Reaper’s Autos, over a window with venetian blinds. A gaunt man, probably Bob himself at a place this small, stares at us through the blinds. Continue reading “Dealership with the Devil”
Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, January 2018
Sloanee’s slick, sticky amphibioid fingers wrapped around one of Queen Doripauli’s slender twigs. The queen’s sea-green fronds uncurled, caressing the richer green skin of her amphibioid lover. Doripauli’s yellow daisy-like petals brushed ever-so-lightly against Sloanee’s face, and the froggy alien’s bulbous eyes closed blissfully.
How could Sloanee give this up? She had loved Queen Doripauli since she’d first set eyes on the photosynthetic floral alien. Her eyes were pink roses; her mouths were blue irises; she was a living bouquet — color and splendor and everything that was right with a universe filled with infinite diversity. Continue reading “Queen Doripauli and the Sproutlings”
Originally published in Electric Spec, Vol.13, Issue 1, February 2018
The child with a malformed arm, bent like a bird’s folded wing, had passed through Troway Village a year ago. Now Dara was a traveler like he had been. Would her old village welcome her? A prodigal daughter returned? Or would she be hurried along like the child and his parents had been?
Dara and Iassandra had been the town’s truth-tellers together back then. When the villagers had come to them, not knowing what to think of the strange child traveling through their village, Dara had sung a song of gods’ blessings, how they bent the unborn child’s arm, marking him and setting him apart as he grew. She sang that he should be welcomed and taken in, a child touched by a god. Continue reading “Anger is a Porcupine, Sadness is a Fish”
Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, October 2018
Lee-a-lei and her clone-daughter Am-lei perched in the Crossroads Station recreational airlock with their long spindly legs folded. The two lepidopterans exchanged a glance with glittering, multi-faceted eyes. Lee-a-lei was nervous and kept flapping her mechanical wings, but her daughter looked excited.
Am-lei didn’t have wings. She’d followed the traditions of their homeworld and had her yellow-blue-and-purple wings cut off after she metamorphosed. So, she wore a simple zero-gee jetpack like a human or one of the canine Heffens would. The jetpack strapped around her thorax, firmly secured. Lee-a-lei had checked her daughter’s straps several times. Continue reading “Jetpack and Cyborg Wings”
Originally published in Theme of Absence, July 2018
Marga held her broad paw up to the star-studded window, lining it up so a single spark of light tipped each of her blunted claws. Her own constellation. She wondered if any of those stars had habitable worlds circling them. She knew none of them was New Sholara. Not from this window. Not from this side of the ship.
A purple-and-amber-striped worker bee buzzed down and landed on the thick brown fur of Marga’s shoulder, reminding her that life support was limited. She left the window behind and moved from one cryonics pod to the next, starting their rejuv cycles. Bees followed her, buzzing in the air. Continue reading “Thirty Honey Feasts To Go”