The Otter’s Mermaid

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Furry Trash, December 2018


“He wanted Angelica always by his side, and that meant she would need to walk on land. Arlow would build his mermaid legs.”

The air turned salty in Arlow’s whiskers as he pedaled his watercycle out of the shade and protection of the thick rainforest trees.  He squinted down the river, but he couldn’t see the ocean yet.  The river curved around rolling grass knolls and disappeared behind a thicket of coastal brush.  Arlow pedaled harder with all four paws and felt the cool water slip even faster around his body, pressing his clothes against his fur. Continue reading “The Otter’s Mermaid”

My Magic, My Spell

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Abyss & Apex, January 2020


“But you didn’t ask. I didn’t give permission. You pulled the spell straight out of my body, and then you used the spell you’d learned earlier that night — the one that would let you keep it.”

You stole a piece of my power from me. And it took me fifteen years to recognize it.

We were acolytes together, studying under Mage Dawlins. I studied ice magic. You studied fire. And Tilly was studying flora spells. She is part of this. She always was. We both loved her. No, I’m giving you too much credit. I make that mistake. I’ve been making it for years. It’s a hard habit to kill. Continue reading “My Magic, My Spell”

The Were-Raptor and the Seamstress Robot

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, July 2020


“”You only get one wish,” the genie said. “You touched my lamp at the exact same time, so you have to share it.””

Angie and Tyler’s hands touched the green-gold brass of the magic lamp at the same time.  The metal was slick with creek water, and they had to dig away the mud and wet moss that had half buried the lamp using their bare hands.  Their fingers smeared the mud, leaving their hands and the lamp dirty.  Someone must have thrown it into this creek, deep in the woods, years ago. Continue reading “The Were-Raptor and the Seamstress Robot”

The Fog Comes On Little Cat Feet

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, April 2020


“See, he loved turning into a shadow and a storm cloud and being filled with lightning. But he hadn’t always been able to.”

Edgar Allen was a grumpy cat.  He had the sleek black fur you’d expect from a cat named Edgar Allen, but his whiskers shone like slivers of moonlight.

He wasn’t grumpy about his black fur or his shining whiskers.  When he thought about them, he was rightly proud to be such a fine feline specimen.  Humans who saw him lounging on the warm pavement on the street in front of the house where he lived invariably called out to him, begging for a chance to pet him.  He rarely obliged.  Though he would sometimes flirt with younger children, trying to lure them into dashing off of the sidewalk in hopes of reaching him.  He never let them reach him.  But he did enjoy listening to them get scolded by their parents.  “Stay out of the street!  It’s dangerous!” Continue reading “The Fog Comes On Little Cat Feet”

Shiny Red Chassis

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, August 2019


“She was programmed to seek out organic lifeforms in need of help, but those youthful organics who raced her through the sloshy pipes of the plumbing system had not needed her help. They said they did, but she no longer believed them.”

Reeree3 had been blessed with a shining red carapace by her creator, but it was blotched with rough orange patches of rust now.  She’d been taken on a joyride through Crossroads Station’s plumbing system, like a common toy being raced for fun, and she hadn’t been given a chance to properly dry out.  So, she was hiding under one of the food carts in the Merchant Quarter, watching the crowds of organic creatures of all species pass by. Continue reading “Shiny Red Chassis”

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”

Somewhere Over the Ocean

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Boldly Going Forward, March 2020


“The inhabitants of Oceanica were not alone in the universe, and the aliens who had come to them from the void above the sky were strange. They breathed the thin gases that floated above the true world, rather than good, nourishing water.”

A’loo’loo swam eagerly back and forth, impatient for the spaceship above her, floating on the ocean’s surface, to open its hatchway.  There had been so little warning — A’loo’loo had only discovered the burst of radio waves coming from her planet’s orbit three tides ago.  Everything had changed since then. Continue reading “Somewhere Over the Ocean”

The Night Janitor and Alien Oceans

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Typewriter Emergencies, June 2018


“Rerin’s rounded ears flattened, and she looked out the window at those oceans again. Was there someone down there?”

Rerin jostled the control panel while rubbing it down with a rag.  The racoon-like alien didn’t know how the day-crew got the bridge controls so sticky.  They were supposed to be searching the oceans on this world for signs of sentience — not snacking and boozing on Eridanii brandy.  Rerin had expected janitorial detail on a starship full of human and s’rellick scientists to be an easy job.  Instead, the naked-skinned primates partied all day, and the s’rellick shed scales everywhere — not to mention the extra work involved in tending to their live food.  Ugh.  Terrarium after terrarium filled with scuttling insects and rodents.  Rerin would not be signing on with this ship again. Continue reading “The Night Janitor and Alien Oceans”

Catacomb’s Orchestra

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, April 2020

“Mice minds were so small. So easy for Catacomb to read.”

Catacomb laid her paw across the tiny heaving belly of the almost drowned mouse.  The poor thing was frightened out of its mind; she could feel its fright through her paw, prickly and tingly.  Mouse emotions were so funny.

“I saved you from the koi pond, Little One,” Catacomb purred.  “Now your life is mine.”  Never mind that the mouse would never have fallen in the koi pond if Catacomb hadn’t been chasing it.  She could see herself through the mouse’s eyes:  massive, terrifying, death-personified.  The asymmetrical orange and black splotches that had inspired her human to name her Peaches (after a bowl of peach cobbler) looked like a devastating Halloween mask to the mouse.  No sweetness.  All murder. Continue reading “Catacomb’s Orchestra”

The Unicorn Keeper

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Theme of Absence, January 2020

“If I try to lay down limits, she stops eating and her ethereal glow — silver like moonlight — fades to a sickly, flickering shade — gray like a staticky television screen.”

Amalioona prances into the stables, her tufted hooves gleaming. They are the same sparkling shade of white as a hillside of snow in the sun. They are dainty, perfect unicorn hooves. How is it, then, that she always seems to clumsily knock over the slop bucket — no matter where I put it — and kick up the fresh hay into a veritable dust storm? Continue reading “The Unicorn Keeper”