The Dreaming Arm

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original, December 2022


“The dreaming arm had doomed them all, urging them to spend energy they didn’t have to spare…”

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”

Flerble Gerbil was a Hologram

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original, November 2022


“I don’t want to hurt anyone, even gerbils,” the metal grasshopper said in a high-pitched voice. “Are you going to hurt me?”

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”

Black Swans

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original, October 2022


“Why are you afraid of the black swans? They’re only swans, floating on the surface of a lake, gleaming with the depth of nebulas in their feathers.”

I watch the lake, peaceful and serene; white swans float on it with the graceful delicacy and stillness of ice sculptures or many-tiered, fondant-covered wedding cakes.

Then the black swans come.  One after another.  Crashing into the water, wings spread wide and flapping.

Progress has begun. Continue reading “Black Swans”

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”

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”

Not Spider-Man and the Seven Angel Donors

“The boy’s parents couldn’t take time off of work to grieve for their sleeping princess boy, because they worked at Mal-Wart, and without the protections of a union, they couldn’t afford any time off.”

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original, June 2022


This is not a story about Spider-Man, because Spider-Man is owned by a company.  This is a story about a young boy, on his first day of high school, who was bitten by a spider and fell asleep like a princess in a fairytale.  He fell asleep for the life of the author — which in this case would be his parents — plus seventy years. Continue reading “Not Spider-Man and the Seven Angel Donors”

Sting Once and Die

“…she carefully placed the brittle body of a dead bumblebee on the circle of salt. She had considered using a wasp, but she was looking for justice, not vengeance. A solution, not escalation.”

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original, May 2022


Selina knelt in the middle of the empty Hamilton Middle School room.  She’d pushed the desks and chairs up against the walls, leaving the floor clear for the bull’s eye pattern she’d drawn with salt.  The only light came from the soft cold glow of the moon behind the shuttered windows and a flickering warm radiance from the ring of candles around the outer edge of the bull’s eye.  In the middle, the very middle, she carefully placed the brittle body of a dead bumblebee on the circle of salt.  She had considered using a wasp, but she was looking for justice, not vengeance.  A solution, not escalation.
Continue reading “Sting Once and Die”

The City In Your Toaster Oven

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original, December 2021


“…she worked fast, chipping at the bread with her chisels, carving her predetermined pattern into its doughy grain.”

Warm buttery crumbs flaked off the toasting bread and sprinkled down to the diminutive city built on the metal tray below.  Gooey cheese dripped off the sides of the horizontal toast.  Metallic creatures — ant-like with their half-dozen legs and expressive antennae, but tiny, so tiny, ant-sized to an ant — scurried back to their minuscule buildings, seeking refuge from the reeking rain.  Later when the fallen scraps had cooled, foragers would gather them up and the city would feast on bread and cheese. Continue reading “The City In Your Toaster Oven”

Treasure in the Sky

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original, December 2020

“Then he backed away from the yawning window, as if it were a portal that he could fall through and never land, floating forever, lost in the void of space.”

The short, stout, furry alien stared out the starship’s curving bridge window at the star-studded black sky.  His black fur blended into the sky like a shadow, but the blaze of white over his forehead stood out like a brand.  His rounded ears splayed, and he curled his heavy claws into fists.  “I don’t belong here,” he muttered, and the ship’s computer translated it.  “None of my people do.” Continue reading “Treasure in the Sky”

Excerpt from Purride and Purrejudice

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original, September 2020

“Do not you want to know what is in the boxes?” cried the dog impatiently.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a cat in sight of an empty box, must sit in it.

However little known the feelings or views of such a cat may be on their first encountering an empty box, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of all good cat owners, that all empty boxes are considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their cats.

“My dear Mx. Kitty,” said the dog to her one day, “have you heard that the Amazon truck has arrived at last?” Continue reading “Excerpt from Purride and Purrejudice”