Boot Reboot

Boot Reboot “What’s this Leagz7 project you’re working on?” the CEO barked. “Seven league boots,” Brad stammered. “Unfortunately, one foot originally traveled 21 miles before the other one moved.” “Huh. Sounds like a crotchal—I mean, crucial design flaw.” “We fixed that with Leagz7 2.0. Now just the boot travels, not the foot.” “Where’s the market…

Echo in the Dark

Echo in the Dark The blood moon crawls from behind a cloud, throwing humanoid specters against the bedroom wall. I sit up. Something is on the floor just beyond my bed. The wind rages, and the shadows frenzy on the wallpaper. But there is a crouching shadow there that never changes. “Alexa, turn on lights,”…

Beyond Macaroni Art

Beyond Macaroni Art My ten-year-old 3D-printed me a car for my birthday. He downloaded the plans from the Internet, he said. I was still making macaroni art at that age. “You like it?” “Yeah. It’s . . . something.” His eyes are shining and I’m wondering if this green monstrosity actually runs, what kind of…

Hidden Miracles

Hidden Miracles We have the worst traveling miracle-woman ever. First of all, Aurora charges eighty bucks a miracle, and then she ruins your life. Jerry asked for love and Aurora poked his eye out. Kevin asked to get into shape and she killed his dog. Seriously. I asked them if they wanted to get even,…

Insert Story Here

Insert Story Here My first job was at a secondhand shop where nothing ever sold. “Where’s this from?” I asked my boss, pointing at a brass flowerpot. “No idea.” I had some ideas, even if they were all lies. That night, I wrote a history of that flowerpot. It started with murder and became more…

The Other Side Boy

The Other Side Boy The playground was water-logged. Sidney stepped carefully. “Hey down there!” Sidney looked up, then down. His reflection looked up from the puddle. Then it waved. “Come up here with me,” the reflection boy said. “Come play.” * * * Clint looked up. The playground was empty. “Lily!” His wife came running….

The Ritual

The Ritual Lantern light glinted on stainless steel as the robed figures entered the kitchen. These figures had been my female relatives earlier that day, but now they were keepers of sacred knowledge. “Flour,” I began. “3 cups,” they chanted. I added it to the bowl. “Eggs.” “Four.” I recited the ingredients my mother had…

G is for Prank

G is for Prank I opened the shed and saw ropes hanging from my bike. Garlic. Of course. Tabitha started it by putting an artichoke on my homeroom chair. My revenge was a liquidly-ripe banana in her pencil case. She stuffed cotton candy in my gym shoes a week later. After that, the pattern was…

The B.U.G. (Big Unfriendly Giant)

The B.U.G. (Big Unfriendly Giant) Bus ticket to Mount Crius Park: $15.60 Snacks for six-hour hike where I found the BUG: $6.35. Search and rescue efforts after he took me to his cave: $38,500. Collect call to my parents at rest stop after escaping: $2.36. Cost of his following me home:           Rest stop shelter:…

To Serve Man (and Woman)

To Serve Man (and Woman) The book was called To Serve Man. It was a cookbook. We told our Yrganian hosts that humans was preferable, but even aliens like obscure cultural references. The Yrganians were hospitable, but since most of their food would kill us instantly, they meticulously compiled a list of non-lethal foods and…