Short Fiction


Unidentified Funny Objects 6, edited by Alex Shvartsman: Dear Joyce

Dear Joyce,
Last week a wizard abducted me and my best friend R. The wizard claims I’m the rightful heir to the Alabaster Throne, that my destiny is to kill King Mnabapt, to marry a princess, and to restore Riverell to prosperity, and that King Mnabapt has sent a bloodseeker to kill me.
At least the bloodseeker part is true—I saw it rip into Farmer J, R’s dad. I don’t know if R will ever get over that.
As for the rest?
I really, really do NOT want to marry a princess.
Sure, I’m an orphan and I always felt I was destined for greater things, but I thought maybe I’d go to college and become a financial adviser instead of a farmer. Turnips are boring.
What do you think? Have I found my destiny, or has it found me? What should I do?
Captured Homeless Orphan Seeks Explanatory Note

Dear CHOSEN,
You gloss over this part a little, so I feel the need to place this all in caps: YOU HAVE BEEN ABDUCTED…

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Persistent Visions: Into a Bloody Susurrus

At first I thought he wanted me for my body, the man with a handlebar mustache in a red wool plush uniform, each button burnished with such care that he had to have secrets.

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Once Upon a Time in the Weird West: From Ancient Grudge to New Mutiny

Once upon a time in the weird west, somewhere outside Wilson Creek, two houses stood divided, not only by a feud but also by the mining claim that’d started the whole sorry business in the first place. James Caplin could hate a Montgomery as well as anyone, but that didn’t mean he wanted to head back to Wilson Creek and spend the rest of his life arguing over the played-out Seanneri Chasm’s precious illudine.

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Terraform: Regenesis

Beyond a small dark door, in the magical-genomic laboratory of Irindeh University of Subtle Mechanics, Nenadi’s mistake waited. Nenadi guided Anahah, her partner-in-all-things, past the scarred worktops and equipment cabinets, all dyed crimson by the light that filtered through an afternoon dust blizzard. Golden sensory circuits glinted in Anahah’s terracotta skin.

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