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Science Fiction

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Beholder

From the editors: When I’m approached by writers new to the craft or readers looking for an example of well-written flash fiction, time and again, “Beholder” by Sarah Grey is the story I recommend. There are no world-ending catastrophes or serial killers lurking beneath the stairs. But some stories don’t need to jump up and […]

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“–Good.”

He says, “But I’m dying,” like it’s the answer to everything, like he thinks I’ll disagree. He says it like I’ve forgotten, but how could I forget sitting in that paper-strewn office a week ago, watching dust layer up with sunbeams while a doctor dressed in immaculate professionalism emphasised the words six months to live? […]

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Place Your Bets

Goddamn, it was hot. Even in the shade, I was dripping with sweat, my mouth so dry it felt like I’d spent the last hour eating sand. However, some clients are so big you don’t hesitate. They want a face-to-face, you give them a face-to-face. You don’t even think about asking them to stop by […]

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Nobody Puts Baby in a Chamber

Please stop screaming. [110dB—adult human is distraught.] I am sorry. I did not intend to suck up your baby. [Physical force—nonlethal, safety protocols prohibit self-defense.] I assure you your offspring is just fine. It appears to be entertained by the dust ‘bunnies’ in my holding tank. Oh—please stop screaming—it has found those plastic keys I […]

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Canada Girl vs. The Thing Inside Pluto

The Thing Inside Pluto was displeased. So was Aimee. Its roiling muscle-goo made her queasy, and she’d dressed for pilates, not for two bland government spooks kidnapping her to negotiate with an alien. She lit a cigarette to block the ozone smell. <YOU ARE NOT CANADA GIRL> The Thing’s voice reverberated inside her skull. Though […]

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The Moon on a Breakfast Plate

She’s four years old, wearing footie pajamas with giraffes on them, and she wants the moon. She’s very specific about when and where. She would like to have the moon on a plate with her breakfast. That way she can look at it while she eats, and when she’s done, she can play with it. […]

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Things I Realized on Finding an Alien in the Passenger Seat of My Car

Three and a half hours to interview, 270 miles to LA, 94 mph The mass of writhing tentacles that slithered onto the passenger seat a minute ago probably isn’t a hallucination. Correction: given that I had to blow into a tube to start this rental, it’s not an alcoholic hallucination. This is seven miles per […]

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A Partial List of Lists I Have Lost Over Time

To-Do List for July 18, 2039 Kill my duplicate from another dimension. Get rid of all this stupid kale. Top Five Reasons I Hate Kale Kale is like broccoli that wishes it were lettuce, or lettuce that wishes it were broccoli. Get your own identity, kale. It contains too much vitamin A. Just way too […]

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Duck, Duck, Duck

“Duck, duck, duck,” says Maddy, touching each head in the circle with a perfunctory authority. “Duck, duck,” she pauses almost imperceptibly at the curly, blonde head in front of her, “alien.” The owner of the curls, Rebecca, scrambles to her feet as Maddy tears off round the circle. “Go, Maddy; go, Maddy; go, Maddy,” the […]

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The Solid Years of My Life

I stink. Thankfully, the cilia in my nose are frozen solid so I can’t smell myself. Like drips collecting at the tip of an icicle, my thoughts form at a glacial crawl. The odor of a body emitting freonic chemicals is rank. The first experiment lasted three days and my stench was lab-clearing, canary-killing noxious. […]

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