For Him Anyway

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By J.T. Morse

​I knew what he’d become. But I didn’t care. To me, he was still Nick deep down. My Nick.

Crossing the trench into the Z-zone was tough. But I did it. For him anyway.
Fighting off the ravenous creatures, for days, sucked. But I had to reach him. To find my soulmate.

Seeing his rotting flesh and the carcass he’d become broke my heart. But I’d come this far. I couldn’t back out now.

Letting him sink his jagged teeth into my arm took guts that I didn’t know I possessed. But for him, my Nick, I did it anyway.

           
J.T. Morse writes to “explore the mysterious and empathetic connection to fellow humans.”

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Mermaid Learning to Let Go of an Air Phobia

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By Ophelia Autumn

Floating with my dreams over the surface, I swim outside my comfort zone while trying not to cling to my teacher’s warm skin. I feel like an out-of-control freak but her patience is helping me get familiar with this less dense atmosphere.

I know a song that would steal souls, but my tune once attracted the wrong kind of fish. I used to wish I could stay in the abyss and play with beautiful lost treasures forever.

Now I won’t be helplessly washed away on the shore, I will look at the sky on a sea of hope.

           
Ophelia Autumn writes “to explore the multiverse.”

Rescued

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By Alison McBain

When I found out my mom was a spy, I thought, Cool. Like in the movies.

Right up until the bad guys busted through the door and dragged us off to their underground lair. They tied up my brother and me and screamed they’d kill us—unless we told them everything.

We were kids, right? What do kids know about their parents’ business, ya know?

That’s when I found out my mom wasn’t a spy. She was a superhero. She blasted through the ceiling and knocked those two dudes to hell.

I bet they were sorry when they woke up dead.

     
Bio: Alison McBain’s work has appeared in Litro, Flash Fiction Online, and FLAPPERHOUSE. When not writing fiction, she is the Book Reviews Editor for the magazine Bewildering Stories.

Omega and Alpha

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By Virginia Nygard

Hundreds have camped here at the launch area for weeks. Lucky ones have tents. Others, only tarps or blankets. People are smelly and irritable. Food and water are scarce. It’s been a very restless night with the ground rumbling constantly from earthquakes spreading across the globe. But hope rises with the dawn, at least for those holding the lowest numbers. The World Aero-Space Administration just announced all conditions are perfect for one last, safe flight! The same prayer rises from each of us, “Please, God, don’t let us destroy Mars as we have Earth. Forgive us. Save us.”

The Wake Up Call

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By Alyson Faye

I was on the run. From her and my old life. I landed up in a rather grimy hotel on the Norfolk coast. Booking a coach trip with an outfit called ‘Pioneer’ (that was me now), I requested a wake up call, hit the bar and then bed.

The phone rang, “It’s time Sir.”

“Huh?”

“Your time Sir. It’s come.”

Disorientated, I staggered up, tripped and fell into the carpet’s embrace. To stay.

Emerging at dinner the receptionist apologized; she’d forgotten to ring.

Unconcerned, I took the local rag from her and read ‘Pioneer Coach Crash on A11, 5 Dead.’

The Gift

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By Sandy Wilson

Gav had saved hard, made sacrifices, to buy a special gift for his daughter. She lived with his estranged wife. But this vital present, from Amazon, failed to arrive.
On the far side of the city a thoughtless courier delivered a parcel in error.
Gav heard a knock, opened his door.
“You Gavin Stevens?”
“Who’s asking?” Suspicious, aggressive.
“Your parcel’s been delivered to me by mistake,” said Sandy.
“Where’ve you come from?”
“Yeadon.”
“You’ve come all that way?”Astonished.
“Yes.”
“Just for me?” Catch in voice.
“Yes.”
“Nobody’s ever done anything like that for me.”
“Well, I have. Merry Christmas!”

 

A Suitable Replacement

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By Welbie

The little elf groaned when he stepped out the corridor and realized the queue was still long. Centaurs, humans, even pixies – all sort of creatures made up the line.

He sighed at the parchment in his hand.

“Applicant 2894! You’re up.”

He rolled his eyes when a buff-looking lad made his way towards him, a dumbbell in each hand. The elf led him into the adjoining room where he was to audition for the soon-to-be-vacant job position.

2894 hadn’t been gone long when a voice bellowed, “Hohoho … Next!” He had failed to impress the panel. The search for next Santa Claus continued.