Archive for Fiction
The inexorable pull to move south grows. The sun hums to me all day long that it’s time to go, go, go. The night sky is even more persistent–every constellation in the big Montana sky makes arrows pointing south. My appetite increases and I develop a layer of fat on my belly. My senses grow […]
The Tsar abdicates in February. The Provisional Government gets around to letting Fyodor out of prison in March. In April, he meets his Uncle Grigor at a Petrograd cafe. They talk about magic, death and revolution. “I don’t care, Fyodka. Romans or Visagoths, Christians or Mohammedans, Tsars or…” The old man waves his hand, making […]
I. GHADA AND ASAD “Oh, Ghada, Ghada, Ghada.” “If you say my name one more time, I swear to Jesus, I will kill you.” Asadullah Khan scowled. Ghada Nabulaale rolled her eyes. Was this going to be their new relationship? Had time dilation really turned her former lover into someone with gnarled joints and arthritis? […]
The elders claim life is better now. Since the ascension of the young dukes, the landholders no longer carry swords, and we are no longer obliged to kneel in their presence. Taxes have been lowered; we can keep more of our grain, our olives, our limes. Obligatory civic work days have been decreased to five […]
Even grayed by the morning haze, Vesuvius still dominated the horizon of Naples’ harbor, dwarfing the merely human activity below. The city still drowsed in the dawn, for the most part, with only the harbor showing signs of industry. A small, mobile forest of masts passed westward as the fishing fleet chased the retreating gloom […]
Keloc nuzzled his mate’s throat, licking the sweet oil mixed with her sweat. Underneath the honey masking-scent, she tasted like fear. Duv whimpered, her black fur rough beneath his tongue. She lay across the bedding, on her spine, bent slightly backwards to expose the weak place where her pelvic and ventral bone plates met. She […]
Offering great customer service isn’t just good for your customers; its good for your employees because it empowers them to do a better job, it empower them to start understanding work related facts, such as “what is order management?” Heres how it works. Lets say you have two employees, Jane and Jeff, both of whom […]
Topeka’s city lights make the low-hanging autumn rain clouds glow phosphorus orange. Against the clouds, I can see bats no wider than my hand. Not birds or moths. Bats. They make hairpin turns no bird could ever manage, snapping up the mosquitoes that have been so thick this summer. It’s a big happy bug hunt […]
When General Minkhir returned through the Winged City’s gates, her clay servant Chukash saw the emblem of conquest in her hand. This time it was a bronze crescent, drenched in blood as always. Chukash fell in beside her, holding a basin to catch the blood. The trees to either side of them straightened, the gray-brown […]
by Ruth Nestvold Cold. No date, no location. So cold, cold and hot, my fingers are burning. Where am I?
Devlin woke, jolting and in pain, and slowly opened his eyes. He was being carried on a stretcher through a white world: not the green-tinged paleness of the sleep chamber he had expected to see on waking, but a cold, earthly white with an orange cast, a white of muffled shapes and shadows. The people carrying the stretcher were bundled in heavy coats in shades of green and orange with hoods covering their heads and hems to their ankles. Furs and thick blankets of some soft material had been thrown over him.
He obviously was not on Jordan. Of course, he couldn't be on Jordan; they had left Jordan, were on their way to Earth. After leaving the Epsilon Eridani system, the first shift crew had taken over and the rest of them had retired to sleep their way through the stars.
Something had gone wrong. Where was his crew? Where was he?
He decided to try his voice. "What happened?"
Two pairs of eyes trained on him, eyes so dark he could see no pupils in them, in faces coffee-colored like his own but hairier. Eyes that looked human but with an indefinable strangeness to them, other, different, in the middle of features that were familiar yet off somehow.
They spoke rumbling words in a language he'd never heard before. Overwhelmed, Dev allowed unconsciousness to take him again.