Engleine hesitated with the upgrade chip mere millimeters from the docking port in her beloved Hansel’s head. His mechanical ear flicked, and he said, “You stopped. Why?”
“Are you sure you’re ready for this upgrade?” Engleine asked. Her own conical ears — a biological mirror of his mechanical ones — had flattened behind her long head. She shuffled her hind hooves on the floor, and her keratinous hoof-fingers tightened on the upgrade chip that would push Hansel — her dance partner and best friend — from the seeming-sentience that had fooled her into believing he was fully his own person into an actual sentient robot. Continue reading “Clever Hansel 2020”
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”
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.
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”
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”
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”