Article Category Archives: Short Stories

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

  1. The Answer

    He knew he was getting close when he began to find the bones. They were difficult to identify initially, scattered haphazardly among the rocks and assorted detritus that littered the floor of the cave. He spotted the first one almost by accident—a dirty, gray thing which looked as if it had once been chewed thoroughly […]

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  2. Dancing An Elegy, His Own

    The couple dances on the stage in silence. The lights dim gently, shrouding them with shadow. Suddenly they stop, a living statue of affliction. The audience holds its breath. The moment seems to go on forever. They wish it would never end. But the dancers break it, shatter it to pieces. They move. The viewers […]

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  3. Protecting Nessie

    Agatha opened the door to the Grubby Shoat. She paused, and, while her eyes adjusted to the gloom, a gust of wind blew a squall of rain through the door. Despite the fog of candle and fire smoke, she saw the elderly barkeeper turn pale. “Be at ease, old man. We seek more virile prey.” […]

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  4. Kara’s Ares

    Kara didn’t need to turn to know whose steps halted behind her, their sound a discord against the soothing thrum of the ship’s rotating gravity cylinder. Their destination, still a dull red disc, glowed at the corner of Lightwell‘s tiny, transparent observation bulb. “Take a good look.” Salat crouched behind her, his whisper pointless aboard […]

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  5. The Empty Faux-Historical Residential Unit

    Data incoming Galactic Medical Corps system tracer alert Query “Watson_J+Earth+reintegration” returned Watson, J – Identity confirmed w/ DNA scan Spaceport 762 – Earth re-entry approved Reintegration Center 12 – New London – arrival logged 23:14 05032195 Loading program “consciousness_backup33_2” 12.75 hrs remaining Ping “Holmes_M” I wake to sunlight—real, natural sunlight—streaming in through the naked window, […]

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  6. Last Age of Kings

    Fog approached the town. Roshar knew it would happen, but it was still unsettling to see it touch the outskirts of his home. The day before, you could still see the fields. And the week before that Lithgard was still visible if you looked hard enough. But they had all been swallowed up by the spectral fog that scrubbed them out of existence.

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  7. The Hummingbird Air

    The outlander sat cross-legged on the lip of the oasis at Nagba, a pure, infinitely deep turquoise well-pool set in the chalk-stone of the Drakat. His eyes were closed, or seemed to be, under the shadow of a plain broad hat circled by a shimmering band of feathers. One hand upward to the sun, one inverted to the earth, he meditated the Driftage rune of transience. Drone bees thirsting to drink at the pool gave voice to the heat of a Drakat noonday: fierce and constant, fierce and unwelcoming.

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  8. The Genie and the Inquisitor

    Gray smoke billowed from the broken glass ornament, and from the smoke emerged a face. The chin appeared first—a sharpened cone with a beard, pointed like pencil lead—then the grin, wide and bright, two parallel rows of pristine teeth. The eyes blinked, then opened, circles of clear water with tight blue orbs for pupils. The genie pitched its head back and laughed, a raucous sound, like boulders racing down a cliff.

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  9. The Parting Gift

    I lay face down in the middle of Cobalt Lake, arms and legs splayed in the dead man’s float, waiting for my sister to die. Annie hadn’t stirred when my father tried to rouse her this morning. My mother had hovered near her bedside, and the hospice nurse had lingered in the doorway, trying to […]

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  10. Scents of Life

    Katie walked hand-in-hand with her grandfather along the forest path. Dappled light filtered through the trees. She liked the roughness of his hand in hers and the way his eyes always seemed to smile, even when it didn’t show on his face. Whenever she stumbled over a stone or a root or her own feet, […]

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  11. Where the Millennials Went

    It used to be that a girl child of eleven or twelve could slip into the Garden of Sweet Tea and Crisps on any errant sunbeam, just as long as the sunbeam entered her window at a forty-five degree angle to the wooden cracks in her bedroom floor. Naturally. When she felt so inclined, she […]

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  12. Exit Strategy

    Delevan looked around the nondescript street again and squinted down at the scrap of cloth in his hand. 12 Carver’s Street, 2nd bell. This was the place. Delevan knocked hard on the solid oak door. Just because someone wanted to play faces and masks with him, didn’t mean he needed to participate. He knocked again, […]

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  13. Beneath the Raven’s Wing

    The haunting masculine voice that had drawn Moira into the night tickled at the edge of her hearing, rich and sweet as honey fresh from the hive, seeming to come from everywhere and nowhere, but always just ahead in the heavy fog that swirled over the lands around Castle Clary. Moira picked her way forward. […]

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  14. Fountain

    Maude stepped back from the shadeglass, squinting. They had said the future would be bright, but this was ridiculous. Shielding her eyes, she looked past Martin, curled up on the rocking chair on the porch, and tried to make out the origins of the approaching dust cloud. Riders—it looked like—though who would be out with […]

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  15. Sea Found

    I‘d been so aroused by the idea of him for so long, actually seeing him was like a first kiss. The Young Man of the Sea. He’d haunted the shore for a century. Thinking of him had become a full-time job. Our family’s summer cottage sat squat on the Connecticut coast, on a rough piece […]

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  16. Thomas Lynne

    In the summer I turned seventeen, just two weeks after school let out, Thomas Lynne came rolling into town in that old heap of a car he stole from his daddy. It was a 1973 Chrysler LeBaron, the ugliest damn car you ever seen in your life. It had peeling flat red paint and a […]

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  17. For the Heart I Never Had

    The shadow fell over every palm and limestone arch. A hush washed over the market as shoppers set down their baskets and gazed up. In the distance, a gong announced the strike of noon. That was Azai’s signal. Some people spent a few seconds in prayer, others minutes, but merchant and beggar alike took at […]

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  18. Haze

    Spring was always the hardest time: the air was laden with guilt. Arno breathed it in with the smell of sap rising. Spring was reddening the tips of the dogwood and swelling the ends of twigs with its promise. Arno felt its pull, sweet and sad, a time of things passing. He glanced towards the […]

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  19. Making Ends Meet

    The online ad hovered somewhere just between “free babysitting” and “get rich working from home” on the sketchy-meter, but I was sneaking up on my fourteenth month of unemployment. So, recalling the lessons of my short stint in law school, I pondered the landmark case of Beggar v. Chooser and scribbled down the address on […]

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  20. The Gunman on the Wall

    There is a question. A single question leeching on the deepest, darkest part of our minds. Tucked away, trying to hide. But it’s there. We can’t escape it, no matter how hard we try. Because it stares down at us every single day, every single life. Always there, looking down at us, hiding half the […]

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