Svelty and Stock

Svelty and Stock It was my turn to seek. Again. . . . 99, 100. I turned around, pretending not to see Svelty—the size of a house and trying to crouch behind leafless trees. Svelty always felt bad about being found first. Stock—whip thin and camouflaged—felt bad he could never be found. It was an…

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…

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…

Dangerous Texts

Dangerous Texts I’m on the roof. I’m going to jump. Some days I wish I didn’t have a brother. No, I don’t mean that. Truly. Stop joking around, I text back. Get back in the apartment. I can’t deal with this right now. The bakery is quiet, but I’m at work. I don’t have time…

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…