Frankenstein’s Gryphon

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Ember: A Journal of Luminous Things, November 2015


“Flowers in small bouquets, mostly the yellow and white blooms of arctic poppies and snow buttercups, and other tokens such as handmade dolls or tiny flags marked most of the graves. The largest patch of freshly overturned dirt, though, bore no markings — no tokens of love.”

Igor the arctic fox lurched across the tundra, limping from the deadened feeling in his left hindpaw.  That paw had never fully woken up when Frankie Mouse reanimated him.  The electric surge from the lightning bolt hadn’t made it that far, but Igor was still grateful to Frankie.  Without his kindness, Igor would still be lying in an unmarked grave, forgotten and unmourned.  Instead, Igor adventured across the tundra on glorious missions in service to the most magnificent mouse throughout the land. Continue reading “Frankenstein’s Gryphon”

Panda-Mensional

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Neo-Opsis, May 2015


“We’d have never even discovered that pandas have a gene allowing for quantum mechanical space jumping if we hadn’t improved their diet enough that they had the energy left over to use it.”

I point at the star map again, angrily saying, “Come on, Meijing! We only have a few hours of air left!” But the black-masked eyes blink at me impassively, profoundly uninterested in the yellow spot on the view screen under my fingertip. Continue reading “Panda-Mensional”

All the Cats of the Rainbow

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Necromouser and Other Magical Cats, September 2015


“A harmony of meows — higher pitched from Violet, Blue, and Indigo; subtly lower from Red — expressed surprise and confusion. All seven of Sarah looked at each other with wide green eyes, unchanged by the prism.”

Sarah was one of three dozen kittens who all lived in a cozy garage that had been retro-fitted into the perfect Persian cat playground. Scratching posts and cat toys littered the floor. The walls were a veritable maze of carpeted shelving — perfect for perching. Sarah ran wild with her sisters, brothers, litters worth of cousins, four aunts, mother, and grandmother. They were all fluffy, white, purebred fuzzballs just like her. She felt safe and loved. Continue reading “All the Cats of the Rainbow”

Shreddy and the Dancing Dragon

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Dragon’s Hoard, June 2015


“Night after night, the demonic PlayCube with its animated dragon summoned Shreddy’s Red-Haired Woman to it. Hour after hour, Shreddy watched her life being sucked away.”

The cardboard box, labeled Yay! PlayCube! on its sides, was more than big enough to hold Cooper, the blonde, curly-furred Labradoodle. Yet, somehow, Shreddy knew better than to hope that the Red-Haired Woman had brought in such a large, sinister box for any reason as comforting as to haul the annoying Labradoodle away. Continue reading “Shreddy and the Dancing Dragon”

Lunar Cavity

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Furry Future, January 2015


“Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes… massive geological instability.” The words were hard to say. He felt that each time he named one of these horrible side-effects that he might be conjuring one to crush loved ones, light years away, back on Wrombarra.

The air was too cold and the gravity too strong. But, Druthel liked the cave-like architecture. He was on the moon-world of Kong-Fuzi, a naked rock without even an atmosphere — only a few small atmo-domes, a scattering of boxy, airtight buildings, and a subterranean tunnel complex connecting them all. It circled the planet Da Vinci, capital of the Human Expansion, and it hosted the renowned and arrogantly named Wespirtech, the Western Spiral Arm Institute of Technology. Continue reading “Lunar Cavity”

Harvesting Wishes

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Lorelei Signal, January 2011


“The Harvester tells her genie customers that the wishes she harvests come from the overripe gold flowers gone to fluffy white seed. This, of course, is not true, but the genies love it.”

Most genies offer three. Where do they get them? The Harvester is an old woman, who wears a four-leafed clover in her locket and a garland of dandelions on her hair. The locket was a gift from a suitor, many years before, bought at the Crossroads Station bazaar. The dandelions have to be supplied fresh, daily. So, she keeps a greenhouse in the aft of her ship. The Harvester tells her genie customers that the wishes she harvests come from the overripe gold flowers gone to fluffy white seed. This, of course, is not true, but the genies love it. Continue reading “Harvesting Wishes”

We Can Remember It For You Retail

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Redstone Science Fiction #26, July 2012

“He’d tried to keep the blaring ads in his ears secret from her, but something about her look made him think she knew anyhow. Besides, those cats were so vivid it was hard to believe anyone in the coffee shop hadn’t seen them.”

Dylan reached into his pocket and pulled out his last tenner. He didn’t especially feel like drinking coffee, but he thought it’d look strange if he didn’t get something. Charlene ordered a double mocha frappacino and lemon cupcake with cream cheese icing. Dylan got the house coffee.

Would you like to hear an advertisement?” a voice said in Dylan’s ear as he and Charlene picked a table. He subvocalized, yes, and a catchy jingle for a laundromat down the street assaulted him. When the jingle finally ended, the voice in his head said, “Six cents have been deposited in your account.Continue reading “We Can Remember It For You Retail”

“Viewers Like You”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Lorelei Signal, July 2012


“He liked the show, but he wished keeping his hand on the reader was less necessary. Sometimes, in his own room, Boston didn’t bother with the reader at all.”

“Put your hand back on the reader,” Boston’s mother chided. The boy squirmed but flattened his hand against the panel in the chair’s arm until his presence registered. He liked the show, but he wished keeping his hand on the reader was less necessary. Sometimes, in his own room, Boston didn’t bother with the reader at all. He felt guilty. He knew his mother would be mad if she knew. Continue reading ““Viewers Like You””

Daisy Chaining

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Untied Shoelaces of the Mind, Issue #5, September 2011


“Frezzipods can take the vacuum for hours, and convertible controls are designed for their clackety claw-hands. Me, though? I found myself sitting in a spaceship that hardly deserves the name — more of a space skateboard with an over-clocked engine, if you ask me…”

Daisy chains are kind of tricky, so I didn’t believe the frezzipod when he said he could daisy chain his way from Altu 7 to Altu 5 in fifteen minutes flat. First of all, that’s a forty minute flight, if you pull up above the belt and fly without all those rocks in your way. Secondly, frezzipods look like a cross between a crab and a pineapple — the perfect tropical hors d’oeuvre. Who’s going to believe anything a walking hors d’oeuvre says anyway? Continue reading “Daisy Chaining”

The Nebula Was Empty

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Spaceports and Spidersilk, June 2011

“”Is anyone out there?” the radio wave asked. The beast froze herself, like unto holding her breath, focusing entirely on the radio waves.”

The nebula was empty. Cold. Proto-star matter, so many dust motes, drifted, dully refracting the light of nearby constellations. The dust motes didn’t even swirl. There was nothing to disturb them into motion, except for the nebula beast herself. In earlier times, during her youth, she frolicked — expanding space here; squeezing tight there; watching the space debris splash about. She chased the dust motes between her many dimensions, but now she was too sad to make her own fun. Continue reading “The Nebula Was Empty”