In the beginning, there was water and there was Otter. Otter played Chase-Tail to entertain herself and the pretty bubbles she shed floated upward.
Otter got bored of chasing a tail that was so easy to catch. So she made fishes that she could chase and that tasted better than her tail when she caught them. Their scales fell through the water as Otter ate.
Then Otter found a fish that had grown too big … Continue reading
Yes, Officer. You want to know about Miss Chung.
She was much loved by our fellow citizens. She was born and raised on the Moon. Born the same minute as our Glorious Nation. Their paperwork was signed at exactly the same time, in fact. We all considered it a good omen that Miss Chung became an athlete while away at University. There will be some among our fellow citizens who will say she spent too … Continue reading
A front step creaked.
She blinked at the old, barely there voice that quavered from her lips and rubbed at eyes that couldn’t see. She wished Mummy and Daddy hadn’t gone away and left her.
“Hello?” she called again.
Another creak. Then another. The rhythm, the tone – the weight and stride – seemed familiar.
Another creak and an answering call. “Hello?”
The voice wasn’t quite right, more like it had been after … Continue reading
The night-watchman pauses and curses at shadows that flicker in the gas light – each causing him to use his torch. The sound of metal scraping on metal jars when he opens the flap to cast light and it only reveals the wastes thrown from the houses as the rats scatter away from the noise.
He hates to be out and would rather be in his nice, warm bed with his nice, warm wife but … Continue reading
It isn’t so much a question as a squeak of terror. She can’t be pregnant. There’s no way she-
The screen overlay on the bathroom mirror flickers and the voice of the diagnostic program – soothing, motherly and hand-picked years ago for those qualities – says, “The blood test confirms it.”
She jerks her hand away from the palm pad as if it stings, as it did when taking blood samples.
“Explain,” she says.
… Continue reading
Three days of my life gone, once a month. Well, once every twenty nine point five days, being tied to lunar cycles and all that. I know when the full moon is, when to expect it, so I usually manage to book time off or make sure that I’ve left nothing important half-done for when I call in sick. The men, they get squeamish and put it down to “women’s problems”. The women usually make … Continue reading
“Once upon a time, a boy and his dog lived in a country a great way off. In those days, there were scientists and engineers. Now this boy and dog were the best of friends and they shared a great many adventures.”
A sob catches the man’s voice and he stops, unable to continue. He lays a hand on the plastic that contains the two companions and wonders if they can hear him. … Continue reading
I woke when they came in from their party – about five in the morning, I think. Same as every other Friday night / Saturday morning wake-up call. But I’ve never complained. I don’t suppose I can. They’re nice enough neighbours, otherwise: quiet, keep to themselves, say “hello” and smile when I see them. But they like to start their weekend with a bang. Or a party, at least.
They usually get back about five … Continue reading
Johnny met Frankie in the old library. They reached for the same paper-based book, their fingers touched, their eyes met and the rest, as they say, was history. The courtship was slow and sedate, matching their retired status and the old fashioned nature of their meeting.
Johnny was frustrated by the gentle conversation as they compared their reading patterns and the repeated cups of tea, even though he enjoyed the company. Though he … Continue reading
She basked in the warm comfort of her bed, the duvet pulled around her. The smell of fresh coffee rose from the kitchen, where her mother pottered through the morning routine. With eyes held tightly shut, she held on to the illusion of night and sleep, ignoring the scent tickling her nose and the warm light beginning to filter through the curtains.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as perfection. The fly in … Continue reading