Fiction

Fables, yarns, tales, fantasies, science fiction, magic realism and other fantastical flavors.

Technicolor

When I see his face, I know I’m in trouble. Incandescent smile, with almost too many teeth. Wide-set eyes downturned at the corners, glossy-bright. Scrappy build, muscles ropy from hoisting around 25-kilo bags of soil. ...

Let’s Do Earth

Lunch in the home multiverse where Jenny and I are sitting around thinking what we'll do after we finish eating.  It was a really good meal with friends. Shit was sparkling all around.  I turn ...

All the Dark Places

Natalie I wake up abruptly to the sound of someone hammering at the metal door of the RV. Neil continues to snore softly beside me. Nothing short of a fire alarm disturbs that one. I ...

The Man Who Broke Time

I live at the center of broken things.  I live in the middle of a junkyard in a house full of broken clocks. There are many cuckoo clocks and all of them cuckoo at the ...

Your Invisible Neighbor

Your invisible neighbor rarely leaves his house. So you assume.  When he does leave his house, your invisible neighbor is usually wearing only a few articles of clothing at a time. A hat, some gloves ...

Eden

Life outside of the moon base would be like flowers outside of the garden. Where would they grow? In the pipes and vents, blocking all the wires? Or maybe shooting out of the little cracks ...

King Kong on the Prairies

When King Kong toured the Canadian prairies in the early part of the previous century, the anticipatory locals were often at a loss as to how to sufficiently house their guest. The great ape being ...

Blossom

One. The room is dark and stagnant, like a puddle of murky water a week after rain. There are spiders here. You’ve grown fond of them. You imagine small, round bodies traveling on stilt legs ...

The Subterranean Beasts of Electric Town

Lance had finally turned into some kind of a monster. Hal had joked that it was only a matter of time. You are what you eat, he said, and Lance had been consuming nothing but ...

Wax Works

No fewer than three doctors had told Icarus to not get too close to the microwave, but Icarus went ahead and got too close: we came home to find him melted all over the floor.  ...

Covid 23–31 as Seen From the Conterrestrial Pre-Launch Command Center

I — Covid 23 0.75% of those infected die of complications. Many get well on their own. But a striking 3% of those infected emerge from the disease with more lean muscle mass and what ...

The Rattlesnake

I smash mirrors everywhere. In my wake, shards of reflected sunlight litter ruined streets. Until they are splattered with red. Mothers hide their baby boys from me and when I root them out from cellars, ...

‘The Wedding Exit’ & Others

[Author's note: The following pieces are excerpted from Palace of Rubble, a collection of one-page stories composed primarily from single words culled each day from the front page of The New York Times, among other ...

The Girl Beneath

My world is darkness.  No. It’s dark beneath the water, but it’s unjust to say there is only darkness. There is also cold, and the slithering company of eels, and there is waiting: time stretching ...

Worse Than Wolves

It wasn't a frequent habit, but James started this day by sneaking a splash or two of vodka — as colorless as cyanide — into his coffee.  His mother had always said that drinking before ...

The Siege

The fighting lasted for years, perhaps decades.  Buildings were reduced to gravel, bullet by bullet. Neighbors were starved or raped or humiliated. Children played peacekeeper and sniper. Their parents’ hair had gone white or fallen ...

Non Ego Te Absolvo

That first half year in the parish of Santo Sebástian, Father Ambrose was afraid.  He feared the vast New Mexican spaces beyond the church door; he feared the scorpions he was told might sometimes hide ...

Nobody Ever Has Before

A little puddle of cooled aluminum sits on the mantelpiece above the sandstone fireplace in Baca’s living room. It’s a piece of melted engine from a 1976 Volkswagen camper van that crashed head on with ...

A Dark Sage

The boy follows a wake of crows; their shadows cast by moonlight are reflections in dark glass.  His mother has disappeared into the sky, carried away by a parliament of owls. Now the boy is ...

On a Thursday

She met me on the bank of a river where the earth turns soft, land melding into water, solid and fading. And not far away, the sound of the ocean. I had been traveling. Far ...

The Age of the Cuttlefish

In the living room of a small house on the corner of Elm and Grove, the mournful pastor sat before the saltwater aquarium and brooded on the cuttlefish sleeping silent in the sands.   The pastor ...

The Basque Wind

Iker first came to her on a day out with friends, stopping in Durango to admire the Lariz Tower, taking the bus to Atxondo, then walking through the valley, past the nestling hamlet of San ...

I Will Work for Love

Tall houses scrape at the blue, white-cloudy sky. The neighborhood grass glows green. This doesn’t look at all like the cyborg farm. My boyfriend is driving. I sit in the backseat with the laundry. I ...

Shoppingtown (My Fantasy America III)

[Author’s note: Italo Calvino’s masterpiece “Invisible Cities” finds the explorer Marco Polo describing to Emperor Kublai Khan various fantastical cities he’s encountered in his travels. Here I describe three fantastical cities I’ve encountered in my ...