Science Fiction & Fantasy

REENTRY by Peter Cawdron

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Fantasy

So Sharp That Blood Must Flow

In the end, the water goes black with the witch’s blood. Before this happens, the little mermaid understands that a deal is a deal, a bargain a bargain, and there can’t be reneging. But this isn’t reneging, she tells herself as she sinks down, down, down into water so black that in truth it would be difficult to discern witch’s blood within it even had a hundred witches been slaughtered in its depths.

Science Fiction

Coma Kings

So I guess the story begins, fittingly, with someone handing me a Coma rig and saying, play me. Two a.m. and I’m at this party in somebody’s trailer out in the trashy part of town. I’m stoned out of my mind and there’s something on the television, either one of those cheesy infomercials or some sort of comedy thing making fun of those cheesy infomercials, and I’m trying to figure out which.

Fantasy

The Thing About Shapes to Come

Monica’s new baby was like a lot of new babies these days in that she was born a cube. She had no external or internal sexual organs, or for that matter organs of any kind, being just a warm solid filled with protoplasm. But she was, genetically at least, a girl, and one who resembled her mother as much as any cube possibly could. That wasn’t much in that she had no eyes, no nose, no mouth, no chin, no hair, nothing that could be charitably called a face or bodily features, not even any orifices larger than pores.

Fantasy

Elementals

No one knows how many airlings there are, most likely not a great many, whatever a great many means. They inhabit the atmosphere, generally between a hundred and ten or twelve thousand feet above the ground, seldom clearly visible to human eyes, and leaving almost no trace of their presence. They swim in air as we do in water, but with far more ease, air being their native element. Slight motions of the whole body and the arms and legs move them gracefully through their three dimensions.

Science Fiction

Bears Discover Fire

I was driving with my brother, the preacher, and my nephew, the preacher’s son, on I-65 just north of Bowling Green when we got a flat. It was Sunday night and we had been to visit Mother at the Home. We were in my car. The flat caused what you might call knowing groans since, as the old-fashioned one in my family (so they tell me), I fix my own tires, and my brother is always telling me to get radials and quit buying old tires.

Science Fiction

In the Dying Light, We Saw a Shape

[email protected] calls them “space diatoms,” but I say “space whales.” They’re beaching themselves on our interstellar shores. Question is: why? —Tweet by @LilMeyerECID, January 7, 2021

Fantasy

The Foster Child

I came, the hope of my tribe, to the City of Absolutes, in the year of the zero plus two big and a nine. I sought Lena, the girl I had dreamed of as my fingers grew back and I drifted in the waters of Nagoda.

Science Fiction

Dead Fads

The dead have fads. I work in Deadtown, at a bar mostly frequented by the Dead. They call me PD for Pre-Dead. The Dead tip for shit because they just aren’t all that interested. That’s what I think. Cory, one of my regulars, says it isn’t like that. The Dead are interested fine, he said. They’re just poor.

Fantasy

Miss Nobody Never Was

Everybody thinks that bartenders steal. You know what? They’re right. Maybe there’s an upright bartender someplace where it’s all parking lots and cornfields and traffic lights flashing yellow, but I doubt it.

Science Fiction

Invisible Planets

Chichi Raha is a fascinating place, its flowers and lakes unforgettable to all visitors. There, you cannot see a single inch of exposed soil because the land is covered by vegetation: the anua grass, as fine as silk thread; the kuqin tree, tall enough to scrape the clouds; and many varieties of unnameable, unimaginably strange fruits, exuding seductive aromas.