The water beaded from stalactites and hammered the stone floor like the ticking of a clock. Elona timed her muted steps to the sounds as she traversed the cave. Shadows danced in the light of the candle gripped between her trembling hands. They twirled on the cave walls and flittered behind stalagmites when she turned… Continue reading The Deal
Daisy’s stomach woke her like a flea biting where she couldn’t scratch. As she stretched, imagining herself as a great tiger readying to hunt, she glanced first to the window where the morning light warmed the sill for a post-breakfast snooze and then to the bed where her human slept. Panic flooded her as she realized her… Continue reading The Hunger
“You don’t have to do this,” she said. Her voice was calm and soothing, like all the other machines of her prototype.“The Network decreed cyborgs are fine, you’re still part of our web, after all.”
The fly fell to the white linoleum floor, landing on its wings. Its legs twitched one last time before curling inward to the insect’s hairy black body. A skinny brown tabby cautiously approached from its hiding place beneath the desk where it had fled as the flyswatter smacked the glass. It batted the small body, flicking it across the floor to where a small but growing pile of swatted flies rested beside a dirty little box. Satisfied, it returned to stare out the large windows that encompassed a quarter of the office walls.
Anna learned monsters were real one night as she crouched in bed, her ear pressed against the wall that separated their bedroom from the living room. This was before Papa had left with the marching men, back when Mama came home from selling in the market while the sun was still high. Annabelle had never seen her mother look like that day when Mama came home. She kissed Papa as they welcomed her home and Annabelle heard her whisper to him, 'We need to talk.' As soon as supper ended, the two sisters were ordered to bed.
Transcribed below are the contents found within a letter inside an unmarked envelope. I found it atop the nightstand at my bedside, leaning against the broken motel clock radio. The letter itself was written on plain computer paper in a messy half-cursive, half-print handwriting.
She dug in the shade of an elm tree where the dirt was still soft and moist and tried to keep her eyes off Starry. The queer thing was, nothing else touched the body. Flies avoided it, the ants and beetles marched around it, and the smell hadn't drawn any scalehound. The monster had touched it. You should never eat something a monster touches. Papa had never said this but she felt sure he would if he were with her. Perhaps that’s how you become a monster in the first place, she mused.