The Hieroglyphics Teacher

The Hieroglyphics Teacher There was a teacher named Ben who worked in an archipelago. He had his own boat and would putter from island to island, teaching hieroglyphics at the local schools. He taught at a different school every day of the week. This was just his day job, however. His real dream was to…

Bedtime Story

Bedtime Story The little princess lifted the book into her lap and turned over the heavy cover, moving the pages until she came to her bookmark. She was freshly bathed, with teeth brushed and flannel pajamas on. Her family gathered behind her, holding up the light so she could see and resting heads on arms…

Hail Mary 1230

Hail Mary 1230 The world looks peaceful from up here, the irregular polygons of the old fields and forest divisions looking like they’ve been cut by a toddler with a pair of stolen scissors: straight lines, weird angles. But this is the exclusion zone and the people have gone and left their straight lines behind….

The One Labor of Jordan

The One Labor of Jordan Jordan now understood why Lena said that her father was mythologically old school. “Three things you gotta do to date my daughter,” Mr. Iraklidis said, holding up sausage-like digits. “Hey, it usta be twelve. First, clean the cellar steps.” But Jordan could go mythological too. He had no river to…

Tethered

Tethered “Come on, it’s New Year’s.” Maria’s tone was pleading. “Show off those new cybers. Put my dancing to shame with your robot legs.” My new upgrades let me bench press 800 pounds and run a 3-minute mile, but I couldn’t afford good batteries. The club said its wireless electricity for fully T6 but what…

The Path of the Mail Carrier

The Path of the Mail Carrier Let’s watch the mail carrier from high above. His path is like the stitching from a sewing machine: a straight line punctuated by frequent dips to the right as he delivers his letters and bills and junk mail to each mailbox. From above, he is light blue oblong with…

Sui Generis

Sui Generis I needed something unique. Groundbreaking. Twelve hours before the science fair and no ideas. Last year’s winner, my sentient rhinocopter, buzzed around the room looking bored. A living cup that produced milk and sugar for your coffee? Not enough time now. A catbird? I might as well make a baking soda volcano. I…

Dox Box

Dox Box I don’t mind people staring at me in my glass prison in the middle of 6th Avenue. I don’t even mind the jeering or obscene gestures. What sickens me are the people writing down my personal information written on the outside. I’ll need a new phone number, of course, will need to move…

I Should Have Bought the Radio

I Should Have Bought the Radio I woke up in the hospital, which is never a great day to start your day, or evening for me since it turned out to be 8pm. I was just wondering how I got there when my sister leaned into my sightline. “Hey, you’re awake,” she said. “Mom and…

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…