The Automaton’s Treasure
I sat on the deck of the Ocean’s Rose with the only book I’d managed to shove in my trunk before I had to leave my homeland forever: an illustrated history of the Qilari swamps.
The Witch’s Betrayal
When I stepped out of the shadows, the scent of night-blooming flowers slammed into me. I wasn’t expecting a garden, not this far into the desert, and the sight of it put me on edge. Everything about this commission suggested it was simple, routine — but these flowers spoke of magic.
Blood and Saltwater
Luis let Marja kill the seagull before he asked his question. She did it fast, chopping the head off with one cut. Blood splashed into the plastic bucket at her feet. She kept her face blank but Luis knew it bothered the shit out of her.
When Clem died, I took to eating my lunch in the office with the computer. No one ever went down there except Clem. I couldn’t stand the thought of the break room, all the conversation stopping when I appeared in the doorway.
They had a new girl working the shoe rental. As Henry paid the twenty bucks for his three rounds (the owner liked him, liked that he was a cop, so he gave Henry a discount), the girl glided in front of the row of shoes, passing it over with the buzzing decontamination stick, the glow staining her hands pale blue.
I work on the seventh floor of an office building in downtown. The city is new, and all the buildings are made of glass and metal and they shine like broken mirrors in the summer sun. I’m a secretary for an engineering firm, although my official title is administrative assistant.
Mr. Grish, you have asked me to come forth on the matter of my illegal work with the New York Stock Exchange at the end of the last decade, and my association with the famed financier Harry Feverlot — and although you did not mention it forthright, I imagine some unseemly part of you wants to hear about my association with Mr. Feverlot’s young mistress, Lily Novacek.
Published in Digital Science Fiction Anthology 4: Heir Apparent. 12 November 2011. Available here.
The Space Between Stars
They used to let me fly into Las Vegas on Fridays, for the weekend. Twenty minutes skimming just below the surface of the air before descending into the grid of neon lights that blinked and shimmered in the disappearing daylight.
The Cowboy’s Wife
Sometimes the vaqueros like to sit in clumps together and tell ghost stories in Spanish. You know some Spanish from growing up on the border and from the words Maria taught you, to bring you closer to her world, after she crossed the river for you.