THE MYSTERY OF THE MISLAID GIRLS
“The Mystery of the Shattered Goblet,” our mother says when we break a wineglass, doing the dishes.
“Secret of the Missing Algebra Textbook,” she says when we tell her why we can’t finish our homework.(…)
Hold Your BreathK.C. Mead-Brewer
Toe-curling things happen down at The Lake House. Sex, of course, and howling and injuries and a couple of disappearances, drownings, and once a kid hanged himself from the loft banister and another time a handful of teenagers tore out of there claiming that the walls had started bleeding, and no, they weren’t high, why would you even ask that.
There is Not an Alligator in the SewerNathaniel Lee
Harrison Burke sat on a park bench at midnight with a sack of six Burgerito’s bacon double cheeseburgers and a giant alligator. Harrison had not been sleeping well lately. Or at all, really.
Deadly DanceTrina Phillips
Heddera pressed the warm sonic node into the channel that separated the Dekteron’s fourth arm from his secondary shoulder blade. With a low hum from deep in her diaphragm, the pitch of the node changed and the Dekteron snarled his pleasure. For symmetry, she applied another node under his third arm on the other side and sang a dissonant twin pitch that shifted into a harmonic. His body arched so hard he almost fell off the table. She placed her hand on his back to steady him.
Lady Whitmer’s Waterlogged RevengeLincoln Michel
One day Lady Whitmer realized, with some distress, that she was at the bottom of the ocean. The last she could remember, she’d been on land in the spot where she eternally dwelled—the manor’s second-floor bedroom where she had been violently stabbed in her sleep by her vile husband, Beaumont, and his conniving mistress, Lucinda—and now she was floating in salty water. Not that she could taste the salt. Or anything at all.
How To Remain Safe During A Conversation If You’re Somebody’s WifeDebbie Urbanski
“Don’t leave me home alone today,” she says. “You’re home alone every day. You work at home,” he points out. His name is Johnny or, more informally, Jon. Hers is Katherine, or Katie, or Kat. They sit in the neutrally decorated living room of their colonial-style house. The most striking aspect of the house is […]
Seven StarsErica Ruppert
Alice had sung that single phrase to Paul one night as they sat on their haunches at the back of the yard, stoned and gazing up at the black shape of the hill in the middle distance. Her voice was flat, and the words didn’t fit the tune, but she repeated it until she got bored with the sound of herself. Alice had started calling the hill The Empress sometime over the summer. No one else Paul knew called it anything but the hill.
Your Mother and Other Ancient DenizensMichael Tager
On your fifteenth birthday at the bowling alley, your mother’s cheek turns to stone. You glimpse it for only a moment between blowing out the candles, and the sudden death of the flame. You aren’t sure what you see behind her brown eyes—was it just a twitch?—but you know somehow that the world is suddenly a less-safe pace.
The God of Odds and EndsKate Doughty
The Wraith leans against the cinderblock wall of the Quik-Buy on US Route 29 and scratches off a lotto ticket to determine whether you will live or die. You, of course, do not know this. You pull into one of the self-serve stations and read the sign that says cash only. You un-stick your thighs from the bottom of your Toyota’s seats before gathering your trash, shoving your sunglasses into your sweat-damp hair, and making your way inside. You leave most of your weapons in the car. You don’t think you’ll need them.
Icicle People or The Lake Effect Snow QueenJasmine Sawers
I dig myself out of my house to start my patrol. When I emerge, the path I’ve made is already filling back in with fat, wet snow, blowing in all directions. It is ever trying to buffet me about, to billow me to the edge of town, to strike me snow-blind and wind-deaf so I lose my way, but I got my snow legs a long time long ago.
It is 17,000 light years to the Galapagos Islands, and over 600 years since the HMS Beagle—after which our ship is named—landed there. Over half a millennia since Darwin wrote his Origin of the Species and changed the way we look at the evolution of life. Sitting here, looking down the cliffs at the Beagle—so […]