Article Category Archives: Short Stories

Fantasy, science fiction, and horror stories between 1500 and 5000 words.

  1. Bedroom Community

    I can’t hear most things anymore, but the thwunk of the bowstring is near enough to my ear to register. It has become as pleasing a sound as I can ever remember hearing. Ever, that is, since the world changed. But another sound follows, loud enough that it screeches like burning rubber against my eardrum. […]

    2,390 total views, 2 views today

  2. Phase II

    Folks up on Wheeler Mountain had their fair share of weird that winter. Bo Gifford claimed his prize heifer gave birth to a calf with two asses and Danny said there were a lot more shooting stars than normal. But I think things really started going downhill when my Ford pickup ate Richard Petty. Little […]

    2,822 total views, 5 views today

  3. No Gods but Men

    The village celebrated the dying of the light. Drunken revelers lined Red Stick’s single dirt road, tribal boundaries eddied by the foot stamping skirl of whistle and hand drum. Despite the jovial mood, I knew better than to brave the red-gold light of the setting sun. The sight of me would remind them of what […]

    2,782 total views, 5 views today

  4. The Stubbornness of Wizards

    We wizards are a stubborn lot, but it is from our stubbornness that we draw our power. To demonstrate what I mean, I shall relate the story of a young wizard-in-training. Now then. I awoke one spring morning to a knock at my cottage door. I was not yet in a mood to get up, […]

    3,111 total views, 4 views today

  5. TOP SECRET: The Union Station Hypersphere Incident

    Commander Bowman: I have confirmed that five of our operatives sacrificed their lives to acquire this document. Four were summarily shot upon capture; the last delivered this document to the drop point and swallowed her standard-issue cyanide capsule as the Special Forces converged. But after reading this document—just a summary of the official report given […]

    3,162 total views, 2 views today

  6. Skies of Sand and Steel

    The floating Chrome City is always hot, but today it was scorching. Wrapped in roasting heat, the sun cooked the bleached boardwalk to a crisp. Giant hydraulic fans mounted to cafés, restaurants, and shops spun frantically to fight off the ceaseless heatwave, drawing customers with the promise of ice-cold drinks. I strolled over to the […]

    2,313 total views, 4 views today

  7. Boo Daddy’s

    Clyde regretted not buying a ticket to ride approximately three seconds before the conductor tossed him off the locomotive and into a stand of prickly pears. His intestines knocked up inside his ears. His nether bits prickled with cactus needles. And a decidedly slimy object, smelling like viscera with a strong dollop of ipecac syrup, […]

    1,664 total views, 2 views today

  8. “Beyond the Turning Orrery”

    “Know this, if there is one lesson to take from me. Know that sin is worse than the unwinding.” I remember Maestro Iron Bars ending each lesson with those words. As boys, in the safety of our dorm we would mock him: “Remember. Remember,” we would say in onerous voices. But he was wise. I […]

    1,706 total views, 2 views today

  9. “Apprentice”

    Master Jepthe, adept of a thousand gestures, kicked his apprentice in the back. “The movements must be exact,” he thundered. “Unless the spell’s cadence and enunciation are perfect, you will be a fool waving his arms and speaking gibberish. Your body must know even when your mind does not. Do it again.” Wedge gritted his […]

    1,677 total views, 3 views today

  10. “The Memory of Huckleberries”

    Old Woman sits outside a cedar plank house watching the ghosts of her nephews dig out the center of a new war canoe. It sits near the high tide line, balanced in the damp sand. The sun hangs low on the horizon, its soft light shimmering through their transparent bodies. She leans back, her fingers […]

    2,300 total views, 3 views today

  11. Prosperity’s Shadow

    Vicar equated stepping into the Questioner’s Hall to setting foot in the waters of the Riverdun on a hot summer day. It might look tranquil during the approach, but when the undercurrents got ahold of you, they’d never let go. Still, the city outside was burning, and someone had to answer. He’d been here before. […]

    1,926 total views, 4 views today

  12. Mother Salt and her Sisters

    We sit, my sister and I, watching surf break on the rocks. In the distance, a lone schooner swings in the storm, white sail all a’panic. “It’s your turn,” I whisper. Shaye nods. She cracks open the crab in her hands and sucks out the flesh. She grins, showing jagged teeth. I offer her the […]

    2,089 total views, 7 views today

  13. Have You Seen Me?

    Marissa huddled in the middle of her living room as a thousand missing people chanted around her. Find me. Find me. Find me. The chorus muffled Daniel’s words, though he stood right before her, fists clenched, eyes pinched. She forced herself to pay attention, sensing the final thread of their relationship unravel. “I’m gone for […]

    1,668 total views, 2 views today

  14. The Velna Valsis

    Herr Doktor Ostermann drops the needle. A scratchy hiss fills the decayed splendor of Charlotte’s Viennese apartment. Outside, night is falling and a crowd gathers in the plaza. There are angry shouts—”Murderers! Juden!”—the sound of dogs barking. Charlotte does not know the reason for the commotion, nor does she care; her world has shrunk to […]

    1,890 total views, 4 views today

  15. The Great Excuse

    I wish I had died without seeing those things. Then it would’ve been simple: there I’d be, just another homeless drunk, stiff in some alley somewhere. I could handle the dull remorse in those last moments, and the knowledge that I had wasted my life. The tragedy would’ve been a local one. Long forgotten by […]

    2,045 total views, 3 views today

  16. How I Lost Eleven Stone and Found Love

    People always ask me, “Does it hurt?” I tell them the truth. “No, it doesn’t hurt at all.” If they’re the mean type—the kind of people who say, “Why don’t you just diet?”—I whistle for Charlie. Then I say, “Because this is better. Do you want to try it? Don’t worry—he won’t bite. Well, he […]

    2,005 total views, 3 views today

  17. The Water Moon

    “Mamãe, can I take Alfredo?” Ivan Karlo Batista, in his pajamas, was holding Alfredo up by his floppy green arm. “Of course, darling. We’re leaving Selenia and we’re going to travel to Brazil in a big ship. Isn’t that exciting?” “What about Papãe?” “Papãe . . . is going to come later, but we have to leave tonight.” […]

    1,580 total views, 1 views today

  18. Red Cup

    The seed’s shell cracked. A shoot pushed up through the soil, striving for the surface and sunlight. It broke into the brightness of a new life as its roots dove into the ground, absorbing life-giving nutrients and water. The plant continued to grow through many cycles of sunlight, rain, and darkness. Its stem extended beyond […]

    2,118 total views, 3 views today

  19. Sundark and Winterling

    Sundark awoke to rain drumming on the windowpane and dripping from the eaves. In the street below, the footsteps of early risers splashed along the cobbles. None paused outside her house; the house that was once the dragon, Winterling. It was almost as though most of the people had all but forgotten it was there; a splash of jewels and dragon-skin against the shadowy gothic spires and crooked mansions that spread through the old district. They were used to living alongside the fae, so many people thought the music that rilled from the roof and rained down from the eaves on moonlit nights was just a clever trick, when they bothered to notice it at all.

    2,182 total views, 2 views today

  20. Lost Souls

    My mistress told me three things. She said that butterflies were the souls of lost children, that silkworm larva were women, transformed by an evil magician to weave silk for the emperor. She said that millions of mummified Egyptian cats had been sent to Great Britain, where they were ground into powder and used to […]

    1,894 total views, 4 views today