An Aldebaran Sugar Cookie for Star Shaker

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Fantasia Divinity Magazine, May 2017


“Chirri wanted to give her hero something, as a kind of thank you. She dug one of the cookies out of her bag; it was star-shaped and glittered with grains of Aldebaran sugar.”

The asteroid amphitheater rocked with applause as the suspended final note of Star Shaker’s encore vibrated the atmo-bubble over everyone’s heads.  The reptilian pop-star bowed and spotlights shone off of her rainbow-colored scales, making her glitter like the stars all around.

Chirri had loved Star Shaker’s music since she was a little kitten.  Once, she’d even shaved off her fur and drawn little Vs all over her naked skin, hoping they’d make her look like she had scales.  It had looked awful, but she’d been too young to care.  All she knew was that it had made her feel closer to her hero. Continue reading “An Aldebaran Sugar Cookie for Star Shaker”

The Unification of Worlds

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Arcana: A Tarot Anthology, November 2017


“Diamma liked to imagine that the gold flecks in the left eye on the chimera’s fourth head, one of the fuzzy ones with bull-like crescent horns, had something to do with her own golden eyes.”

Diamma’s scaly green tail curled to one side, then the other, swaying uneasily, as she stood in the open hatch of her spaceship.  Crystals of pink snow caught in her fiery, leonine mane as the flakes drifted down from the powder blue clouds of this world.  Snomoth.  For years, it had been a number in the registry on her ship; somewhere she would eventually go.  For the last few weeks, it had been a dot of light on the main viewscreen.  Now it was a faintly pink snowball, the color of cherry blossoms in the early spring, stretched out before her, waiting to freeze her toes when she stepped down from the hatch.

The final piece of the puzzle might be here, hidden underneath the pale pink snow. Continue reading “The Unification of Worlds”

Shreddy and the Zomb-dogs

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Anthropomorphic Dreams Podcast, November 2011


“Glowing eyes looked into the night, and what Shreddy saw made his fur stand straight on end. Puppies rose from their graves.”

When Shreddy was a young cat, he and the Red-Haired Woman lived alone.  Shreddy enjoyed his youth and, in later years, he often daydreamed of those days before the Red-Haired Woman declared:  “I think I’ll take up a hobby.”

Shreddy wasn’t worried at the time.  She’d taken up a hobby before, growing orchids, and he’d found her pastime perfectly delightful.  Delectable, even.  This time, the Red-Haired Woman decided to grow something that Shreddy couldn’t eat. Continue reading “Shreddy and the Zomb-dogs”

The Necromouser

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Nautilus Engine, July 2008


“If that machine could help him raise the dead — and possibly channel his mind into the resurrected corpses, using them as his minions — it would give him Great Power.”

Shreddy never had a particular taste for fish, but he’d been in a sour mood for days.

The Red-Haired Woman had won their latest skirmish over the orchids.  She’d cordoned off the kitchen window with chicken wire.  Shreddy rattled the wire, pulling with his claws at the edges.  He shoved his face into the few centimeters between wire and wall, wrinkling his nose and squinting his eyes at the discomfort, but the wire didn’t have enough give.  Shreddy couldn’t get his head through. Continue reading “The Necromouser”

St. Kalwain and the Lady Uta

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in ROAR Volume 4, June 2012


“My own deeds have made me a saint. The faerie queen made me a beast.”

Snow bent the boughs of the karillow trees, and ice silvered the soft buds at their tips.  Spring had come too early this year, and all the eager young plants would pay a price for their enthusiasm.  Flowers killed by frost.

St. Kalwain didn’t mind the snow.  His black fur was thick and warm.  He found it insufferably so whenever he kept the company of humans.  Their houses were always warmed by raging hearth fires.  Their walls held in the heat.  And they insulated themselves with layers of cloaks and clothes.  They expected him to layer himself with clothes too.  He remembered a time when he chose to wear clothes out of modesty.  Now, he preferred to sleep in the wild.  In the snow.  Alone and far from humans. Continue reading “St. Kalwain and the Lady Uta”

The Best and Worst of Worlds

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Dogs of War, January 2017


“Cats loved conquest; dogs needed adventure. But Cetazed otteroids were happy splashing about and playing.”

Five officers of the Tri-Galactic Navy and one exchange officer from the planet Cetazed teleported down to a clearing on Planet 328’s surface.  The cats and dogs of the Tri-Galactic Navy were good people, and Consul Eliana Tor didn’t regret leaving her homeworld to become an exchange officer.  Not exactly.  But she missed the flavor of the sunlight on Cetazed, and not only did her empathic abilities make her a fish out of water around these cats and dogs with their non-empathic minds, but they let her read the cats’ and dogs’ emotions — especially their feelings about her — constantly. Continue reading “The Best and Worst of Worlds”

Hidden Intentions

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, March/April 2017

“S’lisha wanted to claw the child’s little face off, but the captain wouldn’t like that. And she needed this job.”

S’lisha drew a deep, calming breath through her scaly nostrils.  She didn’t understand why humans brought their children on spaceships.  Her species kept their larval offspring in caves on their home world until they matured and their adult scales grew in.  Continue reading “Hidden Intentions”

Questor’s Gambit

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Gods With Fur, June 2016

“The Collie was trapped on an alien vessel with a critical mission to accomplish. He did not have time for this cat’s games.”

Commander Bill Wilker’s angular muzzle split into a wide Collie grin, and he smoothed down his ruff of fur that spilled regally out of the collar of his Tri-Galactic Navy uniform.  “That’s a goddamned beautiful lookin’ planet,” he said.

And it was a goddamned beautiful planet on the viewscreen.  It was green and round and blue — everything that a planet should be, not like the desolate lava balls and crater-faced lumps in the last several star-systems.  This planet practically screamed, “Shore leave!” and Bill Wilker was ready to take up that cry. Continue reading “Questor’s Gambit”

Shreddy and the Christmas Ghost

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Anthropomorphic Dreams Podcast, AD 049, December 2012


“Shreddy’s dreams were haunted by sparkling mouse eyes. They hung on the Christmas tree, replacing the colored lights.”

Everything was going wrong this Christmas, and the dogs were too stupid to care.

Usually, after the Feast of the Giant Bird, Shreddy and the dogs were given table scraps to eat.  As a cat and a mediocre hunter, Shreddy relished the chance to taste the flesh of an avian larger than himself.  He looked forward to it all year.  Thus, he watched in utter horror as one of the Red-Haired Woman’s dinner guests scraped all the plates off into the trash.  No taste of turkey this year. Continue reading “Shreddy and the Christmas Ghost”

Danger in the Lumo-Bay

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Inhuman Acts: A Collection of Noir, September 2015


“It felt amazing to break the rules instead of make them. For once, he could defy expectations, behave recklessly, and there would be no cost.”

Captain Pierre Jacques twitched his naked ears and swished his bare, pink tail as he stepped into the lumo-bay, a large, empty room with hexagonal, blue grid-lines on the walls.  Even though he was a hairless Sphynx cat, Captain Jacques always held an air of dignity.  No other cat or dog wore a Tri-Galactic Navy uniform with greater aplomb, but today Captain Jacques wasn’t wearing his uniform.  He was dressed in a pin-striped suit and a floor-length, tan trench coat, split down the back. Continue reading “Danger in the Lumo-Bay”