by Raydon Barrow
The creature was bipedal and moved on stubby legs. Dr. Martin watched from a stool, his pen inches from his notebook, eager to record unusual activity as it bumbled around the lab, occasionally fixating on smoking vials or dissection charts. Once, it tried to vocalize, but he could not decipher the jumbled mess of sounds.
“This isn’t what I meant when I said to watch her.”
Dr. Martin jumped and spun to face the woman in the doorway. “It’s marvelous, Julia. We’ve created life!” He pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose and smiled.
Julia rolled her eyes.
by Jean Buie
We moved to the farm when I was nine. To keep Dad from the taverns. Mom drove the school bus while he looked for work.
At first, Dad was really trying. But then, he just wasn’t.
He showed up at Little League. I heard the snickering from the stands when he came onto the diamond.
“I’ll show you how it’s done.”
His arms around me, his hands over mine. He tapped the bat and lifted it into position.
He took a practice swing. Stumbled. Fell. He took me down with him.
He always took us down with him.
by Michael Harper
The writer sells his soul in a Faustian treaty for the perfect book. A book which the power to change the world. Words pour out of him with the scaly tingle of the devil still lingering on his skin. As The End falls onto the page, he weeps, regretting nothing. Like Prometheus, his suffering will be for humankind.
Finding a publisher is easy. Not big five, but reputable. They generate buzz. Get decent reviews. Sales don’t soar and the book disappears without a whisper.
“Try again,” says his agent.
“I poured my whole self into that book.”
“Try adding dragons.”