Short Fiction

Short Fiction from issues of Apex Magazine

Repairing the World

by on Apr 1, 2014 in Short Fiction | 0 comments

By the time Lila and Bridger arrived, the sitting room floor was already part savannah. Yellow grass grew on dirt where hardwood had once been. The border between grass and floor hissed and threw up sparks as the savannah crept towards the davenport on one side, the longcase clock on another and towards Lila on a third. On the fourth, the grass seemed to stretch through a wide hole in the far wall to a pale green horizon. The intrusion, however, couldn’t have breached the far wall yet. The house hadn’t collapsed. Lila ticked a mechanical dragonfly with the time, location, and the nature of this intrusion, wound it up then threw it into the air. Its wings blurred as it...

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The Cultist’s Son

by on Apr 1, 2014 in Short Fiction | 5 comments

“I used to think the sky would peel open,” the girl with the green hair confesses, curling black–nailed fingers around a can of Pabst. “I always had bloody knees, because I never looked down when I walked — I’d clasp my eyes to the sky, bracing myself for the sight of a gigantic hand pulling aside the clouds. If I saw Him coming, maybe I could pray hard enough in time for God to forgive me. Otherwise… Mom told me I’d burn like the whore I was. In sixth grade.” Her smile is shy, a crooked little secret that Derleth likes. He finds his own head bobbing in agreement, his body resonating to the tune of her broken childhood. The girl’s smile melts into a relieved grin; she’s...

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Steel Snowflakes in My Skull

by on Apr 1, 2014 in Short Fiction | 0 comments

My death smells like cold steel and hot vomit. I touch my head and feel the cranial cap tightly holding in the fragments of my skull. I also have three metal snowflakes in there. My chest is covered with those little surgeon masks, all rocking with my retch. I’m still tossing up. The anesthesiologist told me some people get violently sick. I laughed it off. I never get sick. Except when I’m dead. The neurosurgeon showed me the snowflakes before I went under. I’ve been dead three times now in my forty–eight years. As a kid I went through a windshield while my drunk father was hightailing it from a minor fender–bender, running from the cops. I was technically ghosted for...

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Perfect

by on Apr 1, 2014 in Short Fiction | 7 comments

Quinn hated everything. In infancy she hated first diapers, then dolls. Later she hated the school bus, her eagerly smiling teachers, insipid songs about scissor safety, and standing in line for soggy meat and cheese sandwiches she didn’t even want to eat. As an adolescent, she loathed other teens who pretended to hate everything but actually liked: shocking their parents with body piercings, drinking sickly sweet things that made them feel brave but act like cowards, and groping frantically in the back of cars. She hated her parents and the tiny sighs of relief they expelled as they waved, arms around each other, watching the train pull away from the station after she...

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The End of the World in Five Dates

by on Mar 4, 2014 in Short Fiction | 2 comments

I: May 21, 2011 (according to Harold Camping) Robin called it an apartment, but it was really part of an old carpet factory in the Junction: an echoing space where one of the looms used to be, furnished with a broken church pew, two wheelchairs, and the bench seat from a minivan. The smells of paint and dust were good, banishing the phantom smells of antiseptic and latex gloves from my nose. I leaned in the doorway of the breakroom and watched her sweep. “Where’s everyone going to sit?” “On the floor,” she said. “That’s why I’m sweeping it.” “And you’re cooking dinner on this thing?” I gestured over my shoulder at the twelve–burner gas range; eleven of the burners were...

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To Increase His Wondrous Greatnesse More

by on Mar 4, 2014 in Short Fiction | 1 comment

The maiden and the dragon met on the night of the new moon, when the darkness would be deepest and the virtuous would be inside and afraid. They met on a high moor, lonely enough to be suitable for the conference, and the wind howled and cried and pulled at the maiden’s long cornsilk hair as if it were the soul of a badly neglected child. The dragon twisted herself into a form to match that of the maiden’s, out of courtesy, for ancient things are always well-mannered. She was tall and slender and she bent like a tree when the maiden came near. When she parted her lips to speak, the inside of her throat glowed like coals. Her red eyes smoked gently. She was very...

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