The Fire In Her Claws

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, April 2020

“How could they ask someone to take her claws away? How can hate look so much like love?”

Apricot dozed in her cat-carrier, enjoying the warmth of the sunlight pouring through the car window and down through the grated metal top of her carrier.  She had an old, rough towel to sleep on, and she was extremely comfortable.  The occasional bump in the road roused her out of her semi-sleep, and she heard her humans in the front seat of the car talking.  Continue reading “The Fire In Her Claws”

Veins of Black, Dust of Gold

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, September 2018

“The green skin of her face split open revealing a smooth crystalline surface underneath.”

Am-lei had been growing stiffer by the day. Her long, green, tubular body was usually lithe and flexible. She could twist her way through the grav-bubble obstacle courses on the Crossroads Space Station playground better than any Heffen children in her class. Their canine bodies couldn’t bend in half, twist into a pretzel, or grab onto an extra jungle gym bar with a sixth pair of arms. Continue reading “Veins of Black, Dust of Gold”

Hypercrystal Wish

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, September 2018

“In her mind, she wasn’t playing alone — she was voyaging through space, meeting alien races even weirder than herself, and making all kinds of friends.”

Jeko coiled her long nose around one of the glittering hypercrystals.  They weren’t really hypercrystals.  Just shiny bits of polished, angular glass.  Spiky, colorful shapes.  But Jeko liked to pretend.  She liked to pretend that they were hypercrystals and could grant wishes.  She picked up a green star-shaped one and rolled it carefully across her desk with a gentle toss from her prehensile nose. Continue reading “Hypercrystal Wish”

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”

In a Cat’s Eyes

by Mary E. Lowd

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

“But, as he stared, he felt himself drawn in deeper, down into the tiny, reflected world inside those blue eyes.”

Jason’s brushy tail wagged like a flag as he trotted down the sidewalk in front of his house.  He strained his neck against the leash, just a little, to help his master out.  His master was always reluctant to go on walks, and the only explanation Jason could think of was that she must tire out easily.  Heaven knew, Jason had energy to spare, so it was only fair that he help pull her along. Continue reading “In a Cat’s Eyes”

Wing Day

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, October 2018

“She had no reason not to be excited — she’d known all along that the wings she’d grow were vestigial and would need to be removed.”

Lee-a-lei had never been to a Wing Day party, much less thrown one herself.  The butterfly-like alien crossed her uppermost pair of fuzzy exoskeletal arms and watched her clone-daughter scurry around their quarters, excited, sugar-crazed, and impatient for the guests to arrive.

Am-lei flapped her new wings, throwing herself into the air — she bounced off the ceiling and landed awkwardly on newly-long, spindly legs.  A month ago, Am-lei had been a pudgy green caterpillar-babe.  At least, Lee-a-lei had thought of her as a babe, even though she was nearly ten years old. Continue reading “Wing Day”

One Alien’s Wings

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Empyreome, September 2017

“They’re vestigial,” Lee-a-lei intoned, holding out a knife with one of her six claw-like hands. “Cut them off.”

Lee-a-lei’s wide wings fluttered, casting pools of colored light that chased each other across the walls of the robotics laboratory.  The harsh fluorescents from the ceiling softened to warm reds, golds, and chips of blue or green as they passed through her translucent wings. Continue reading “One Alien’s Wings”

Treasure Moon

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Fantasia Divinity Magazine, December 2017

“A mechanical turret rising out of the middle of the mountaintop base swung around and cast invisible laser beams, searching for the intruder, but Rikkita threw herself to the ground and spread her wide, bushy tail over her back.”

Alarm bells rang out and lights flashed red from the corners of the buildings on either side of the street.  A mechanical turret rising out of the middle of the mountaintop base swung around and cast invisible laser beams, searching for the intruder, but Rikkita threw herself to the ground and spread her wide, bushy tail over her back.  The fur on her tail was ultra-dark black; it would confuse the algorithms processing the data from the lasers.  As long as she held still, she was safe. Continue reading “Treasure Moon”

Heart of the Gas Giant

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, February 2018


“The shuttle was too deep now for sunlight to reach it through the thick soupy layers of atmosphere. Soon she would know if she was finally safe or ultimately caught.”

The heart of the gas giant was the key.  Arellnor had traveled from one star system to another; at every stop, she’d traded her vehicle — first her trusty shuttle for a star-hopper, then that for a space mecha-suit and finally back to another shuttle.  She’d altered her appearance, buying gene-therapy or cosmetic-sculpting every chance she got.  She barely remembered what she’d been originally — some sort of space frog?  Today, she was a burly antelope-like alien; her fingers were rough and hard, and antlers rose from her head like spires.  None of it had been enough.  They were still chasing her. Continue reading “Heart of the Gas Giant”

Go High

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, January 2018


“The flashes of lightning came faster and brighter, each one pulling her deeper into a story unfolding in the fish alien’s eye.”

Evban flapped her mechanical wings joyously, dipping and swooping through New Jupiter’s soupy pink-and-gold clouds.  Her whiskers tickled against the glassy bubble of her breathing-helmet, and her long tail streamed out behind her.  She’d drifted away from the flock of avian aliens.  Their organic wings were broader and stronger than her little mechanical ones, but she knew her friends would come back for her before the space shuttle returned for them all. Continue reading “Go High”