Two neighboring towns. One human. One fairy. An experiment in living openly and peaceably with each other after generations of legend and lore had taught caution and suspicion as well as curiosity and wonder. But something had gone wrong.
And it started with a paper cut in the human town.
Read More The Parasitic Fairy Worm
“I’m getting incident reports from all over the station now. Someone woke up this morning with half their head shaved. It’s not messing with any of the systems though, or equipment.”
“So, not a gremlin?”
The station’s security chief glanced down, as if she were looking at a document. “I’m trying to parse all the objective details from the reports to see if there’s a pattern, a profile.”
“It…likes to play tricks?”
Read More The Maximal Pixie
“How does the rain affect your…thing that you do?”
The new potential client, Sadie, turned around, rubbing the knuckles of one hand as if she were applying lotion.
Veronica smiled. “Sometimes it amplifies things. Sometimes dampens. It depends on what I’m looking at and looking for.” Her answer, both vague and accurate at the same time, didn’t seem to register with the woman.
Sadie paced toward the chair she’d been offered, leaving behind the afterimage of jittering yellow waves in the space she moved through. Not a bright happy yellow. But the sickly yellow of anxiety.
Read More The Strange Radiant Death
“I’m seeing needles,” Barry said. He held up both hands. “I’m out.” He started backing up.
Carlos rushed forward, stilling holding the device in his hands. Barry kept his gaze fixed on the device as he backed right up to the closed door of the small laboratory. His gaze flicked up to Carlos, just as his hand reached behind and found the doorknob.
“They’re not needles!” Carlos said.
Barry frowned. He turned the knob.
“It’s cake!” Carlos said.
Read More The Cauliflower Cake Faker
“I could live a million years…” Verena trailed off into a series of a shallow breaths that escaped from a face frozen in a wild grin. “…and no one will ever top this present.”
She turned to her right and watched the massive arena, floating on a bed made of water vapor clouds that concealed gravity glaciers underneath. The arena, the vessels of the other attendees scattering in different directions, the stars, the rainbow of laser lights still beaming from the arena’s heart, they all began to blur as her own vessel leapt into hyperspace.
She turned to her left, still gasping with disbelief. “Dad!” she yelled.
He laughed in response.
Read More A Gift From the Gas Giant
Once, in a neighboring galaxy, not so long ago, in the space between two sister stars, there spun a station.
It was a station like any other. Many different peoples passed through on their way to other realms, whether for pleasure, profit, or other deeper purposes. Many lived and worked upon the station. Some never ventured beyond the unseen boundaries of the station’s space.
But there came a time when the station took upon itself the burden and the honor of hosting a most profound and prestigious feast. A feast that would celebrate a long-sought but fragile new peace between the peoples of a nearby world.
Among the many workers who would provide delights to the guests was an unrenowned cook who won a contest to prepare a dish for the feast.
He was a stellar elf, whose family had lived upon the station but for one generation. And his name was Fiorenzo.
Read More Five Friends of the Feast Cook
“…and Tower Three, Level Nine, Shift One, report your status, please,” the pleasantly professional voice on the other end of the communications channel requested.
Even though she’d already performed and submitted a thorough and systematic check, Vera turned her head slightly to the right, glancing at all the green indicator lights on the bioreactor beyond the glass. She turned back to her console and said. “Tower Three, Level Nine, Shift One end. Vera Pine signing out of duty. All is good.”
“Not for long,” a falsely sinister voice said, in a half-whisper from behind her.
Read More Rain of the Bacteriophage