Thirty Honey Feasts To Go

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Theme of Absence, July 2018


“My great-great-great-grandmother was the last queen who had the honor of awakening you,” the ship’s computer answered. It was a hybrid brain — part computer, part hive — with the reigning bee queen at its heart.

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”

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”

Katelynn and the Hummingbird

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Empyreome, Volume 3: Issue 1, January 2019


“The hummingbird wasn’t exactly speaking, but Katelynn heard its words in her mind. She could also see a cacophony of confusing images, perhaps memories, of flying through space on a giant metal spaceship, exploring a wide range of differently inhabited planets. It was enough to make any tabby go crazy.”

The magic in the air whispered through Katelynn’s whiskers like a summer breeze, and the fat tabby purred.  The ley line that ran under her owner’s house was perfectly aligned with the orientation of her brown stripes whenever she sat under the oak tree in the backyard and faced the hummingbird feeder hanging in the neighbor’s Japanese maple — as she was now.  The rising sun glinted off the windows in both houses, giving them shining eyes in their architectural faces.

It was the perfect moment for casting spells. Continue reading “Katelynn and the Hummingbird”

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”

The Otter’s Mermaid

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Furry Trash, December 2018


“He wanted Angelica always by his side, and that meant she would need to walk on land. Arlow would build his mermaid legs.”

The air turned salty in Arlow’s whiskers as he pedaled his watercycle out of the shade and protection of the thick rainforest trees.  He squinted down the river, but he couldn’t see the ocean yet.  The river curved around rolling grass knolls and disappeared behind a thicket of coastal brush.  Arlow pedaled harder with all four paws and felt the cool water slip even faster around his body, pressing his clothes against his fur. Continue reading “The Otter’s Mermaid”

My Magic, My Spell

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Abyss & Apex, January 2020


“But you didn’t ask. I didn’t give permission. You pulled the spell straight out of my body, and then you used the spell you’d learned earlier that night — the one that would let you keep it.”

You stole a piece of my power from me. And it took me fifteen years to recognize it.

We were acolytes together, studying under Mage Dawlins. I studied ice magic. You studied fire. And Tilly was studying flora spells. She is part of this. She always was. We both loved her. No, I’m giving you too much credit. I make that mistake. I’ve been making it for years. It’s a hard habit to kill. Continue reading “My Magic, My Spell”

The Were-Raptor and the Seamstress Robot

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, July 2020


“”You only get one wish,” the genie said. “You touched my lamp at the exact same time, so you have to share it.””

Angie and Tyler’s hands touched the green-gold brass of the magic lamp at the same time.  The metal was slick with creek water, and they had to dig away the mud and wet moss that had half buried the lamp using their bare hands.  Their fingers smeared the mud, leaving their hands and the lamp dirty.  Someone must have thrown it into this creek, deep in the woods, years ago. Continue reading “The Were-Raptor and the Seamstress Robot”

The Crowds on Crossroads Station

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, July 2017


“He knew he’d out-stepped his place, but he was suddenly very excited about seeing the insides of Crossroads Station.”

Roscoe’s velvety nose twitched, but his long ears stood tall in spite of his jittery nerves.  The view of Crossroads Station on the viewscreen was intimidating:  three concentric wheels, rotating in alternating directions, each one lined with rows after row of glowing windows.  Shuttle pods and star cruisers of all designs were docked on the outer ring. Continue reading “The Crowds on Crossroads Station”

Galaxy Shaker and the Celestial Rainbow Dragon

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Every Day Fiction, June 2017


“…she looked like a mythical creature — a celestial rainbow dragon — not merely a pop-star reptilian alien with a good stage crew.”

Star Shaker’s scales glittered and shone with rainbow colors under the spotlights.  Her barbed tail swayed, and she flapped her tiny vestigial wings as she sang into the mic.  With the backdrop of stars behind her, she looked like a mythical creature — a celestial rainbow dragon — not merely a pop-star reptilian alien with a good stage crew. Continue reading “Galaxy Shaker and the Celestial Rainbow Dragon”

Inalienable Rights

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, August 2017


“With a nervous twitch of his nose, Roscoe opened a communication channel to the planet below…”

Roscoe’s long ears would not stand tall, no matter how he strained to hold them up.  His reflection in the empty viewscreen looked haggard and scared, but he’d stared at it for long enough trying to compose himself.  He would never be composed.  He had to proceed anyway.

With a nervous twitch of his nose, Roscoe opened a communication channel to the planet below, and moments later, a familiar face filled the viewscreen:  his cousin Chilchi.  Her ears stood tall. Continue reading “Inalienable Rights”