Category archive

Free Stories - page 2

These stories can be read by anyone, without needing a subscription.

The Salvation Complication by Edd Vick

THE SALVATION COMPLICATION Edd Vick So this beanpole walks into the bar, says “I’m the buyer, I just bought the Earth and I’m checking it out.” And I say “So how do you like it so far?” Remember, and I’m saying this to you and not to the guy, remember I’ve had a few, well… Keep Reading

A Matter of Mass by Floris M. Kleijne

A MATTER OF MASS Floris M. Kleijne “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It’s been…” Father Zio sighed. “It’s been thirteen years since my last IRL confession.” Behind the lattice, Bishop Otis shifted in his seat. “But—” the Bishop said. He paused before continuing: “And how long has it been since your last online… Keep Reading

Kitsune by David S. Hallquist

KITSUNE David S. Hallquist It had been another perfect night, as all nights always were with Ai. They had been together in his mansion, in the skyscraper penthouse, at his palace, deep in the forest, at his mountain retreat, aboard his airship, and this time, at sea. Each time she had been different: eyes, hair… Keep Reading

Platinum Blonde by A.A. Leil

PLATINUM BLONDE A.A. Leil Look at those fishmongers out on the docks, howling like a pack of hyenas, holding hands and dancing like there’s no God. Singing their dirty Suez folk songs. That little girl must be eight or nine, and still no headscarf? What the hell is wrong with these people? Papa’d have a… Keep Reading

The Antitheists Nightmare

With apologies to Bertrand Russell The eminent antitheist and essayist Dr. Brussels dreamt that he died and found himself, against all expectation, at a pair of immense gates that shone like great pearls. He was shocked and rather apprehensive as he was met by a being that looked astonishingly human, like a king, with wings… Keep Reading

Anticlimatic by Arlan Andrews Sr.

ANTICLIMATIC Arlan Andrews, Sr. Nervous tension thickened palpably in the NASA control center as flickering kinetoscope signals from the descending Martian lander came in, the cratered surface of that planet growing larger and larger in the dim, slow-scan images. “We should receive touchdown confirmation in ten seconds…” the Mission Controller said over the loudspeaker, as… Keep Reading

Nascent by Katie Winkler

NASCENT Katie Winkler We were frankly amazed that it picked her. Of course, we had, as a group of the top minds on artificial intelligence, decided that it should decide things for itself. We shouldn’t dictate to it, but then it picked her, for God’s sake—a 55-year old woman, past child-bearing years, of average intelligence,… Keep Reading

Double Grave by James Fitzsimmons

DOUBLE GRAVE James Fitzsimmons “Where’s my digitalis!” “Here, Dad.” “Where’s my magazine?” “Here, Dad.” “That’s Sports Illustrated. I want Sporting News!” “They don’t print Sporting News anymore.” “Where have you been all morning?” “I went to the store to get you a magazine.” Picket sat up in bed, coughed, and spat into a cup. Ace… Keep Reading

Close Enough by J.R. Johnson

CLOSE ENOUGH J.R. Johnson After the hospitals, the grief, and all the damn flowers, Patrick Cole figured killing Hackett would be the easy part. Cole edged past the concrete lions flanking the pretentiously long driveway to Hackett’s mansion. The moonlit summer night was warm and smelled of damp earth. Arched silver maples shadowed the dark… Keep Reading

Frank Herbert, PhotoJournalist by Erik Jorgensen

FRANK HERBERT, PHOTOJOURNALIST Erik Jorgensen Famous people typically have mundane pasts in unknown places before they stepped into the limelight. Some have greatness dropped upon them, but others become overnight successes only after years and years of hard work and persistence. It is thrilling for a fan to discover their hero’s early efforts, especially when… Keep Reading

Yao’s World by Matthew Barron

YAO’S WORLD Matthew Barron The bubble hummed. It had grown into a dark globe and was partially submerged in the table top. Yao sat at the bench and looked into two long tubes. His hand hovered over a toggle. “Let there be—” “Yao!” came a shrill voice from beyond the stairs. Yao pulled back his… Keep Reading

Go to Top