Short Fiction

Short Fiction from issues of Apex Magazine

Henrietta’s Garden

by on Dec 2, 2014 in Short Fiction | 1 comment

2200 WORDS It started at her dad’s funeral. Her brother gave his eulogy about what a great dad he was and how he took them out for soccer on Sundays, and Henrietta wept a single tear that was not a tear but a daisy petal. At first she thought it was a mistake—she wondered if a flower caught in her hair—but she cried another and it slid down her face just slightly. People took notice. Was that woman crying petals? Henrietta smiled at them, holding back the tears. The petals unfurled, about to fall, but she wouldn’t let them. She thought this made her extremely strong, but really it made her look like an idiot—a magical idiot, maybe, but still an idiot. After the funeral,...

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Griefbunny

by on Dec 2, 2014 in Short Fiction | 0 comments

3800 WORDS The jackrabbit crawled through a rip in the screen door the night Mandy left us, and six months after Dad died. It was a tiny, evil–looking thing, with ash–gray fur, yellow eyes, and missing its tail besides. I thought it was a rat at first, but Theodore took to it like it was a purebred puppy, and the feeling was mutual: that rabbit followed Teddy around like my brother was made of carrot. I let it stay. It seemed easier than explaining where Mandy’d disappeared to. Our dad had gone up in flames. According to newspaper coverage of the wildfire, his crew got cut off when the wind turned. Dad unfolded his fire shelter, curled up inside it, then “succumbed to...

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Keep Talking

by on Dec 2, 2014 in Short Fiction | 0 comments

3477 WORDS Gerald’s stomach clenched as he approached his daughter, Sarah. She sat at her computer, her back to the world, as intent as a cat scenting a mouse. “Sweetie, I have some big news.” She sucked on a lock of her hair, eyes on the screen. He leaned against the desk, as much into her line of sight as he could. “Sarah? I got the job.” “Live feed,” Sarah said, angrily, and leaned closer to her screen. On her screen, a half–dozen text windows showed the usual columns of numbers, her obsession: the daily data streams and reports from SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. She’d always been so good at math, but when time came to take the SATs, she’d just...

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Anthracite Weddings

by on Dec 2, 2014 in Short Fiction | 0 comments

Direct download — Anthracite Weddings (audio) by John Zaharick 5020 WORDS It is an honor to protect the bride. Mother and Father repeat this, but I don’t believe it just because of them. The happiest day of my life was when I was asked to serve as Elisha McCormick’s bridesmaid. My family is of modest means. However, we have something that even the McCormicks, who control all the coal lands in the county, notice. Me. They require girls that resemble Elisha as much as possible. Luckily, Elisha McCormick is fat. She is a pudgy girl with long brown hair and blue eyes. I am not as fat, no, but still a little larger than the other girls in town. My hair and eyes are...

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Guided Breathing Exercise: Being Mindful of the Succubus in Your Bedroom

by on Nov 4, 2014 in Short Fiction | 3 comments

Steal the Spotlight Winner (Demons) 222 WORDS Breathe in breathe out. Nothing else works. Not crying, screaming, praying or punching. Not the knife. Not even the gun. Breathe in breathe out. Don’t stop. Don’t let the silent space exist. Make the stillness at the top of the in-breath short. And that other quiet place at the bottom of the out-breath no more than a flash. Just lie still. Be aware of your body. Don’t relax. Don’t sink into the softness of the bed. Breathe in breathe out. Don’t look directly at her. When you do she moves into the periphery. But if you focus on the stained spot on the ceiling you can see her. Naked and voluptuous. Long ringleted hair. The...

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The Fitzpatrick Solution

by on Nov 4, 2014 in Short Fiction | 0 comments

Steal the Spotlight Winner (Science Gone Wrong) 250 WORDS At thirteen, Elmira Fitzpatrick first posted details of her robots online. The code for her cooperative systems was brilliant. By fourteen, she was being wooed by toymakers, universities and governments. Elmira refused them all. She usually didn’t leave the house. She had panic attacks and was still mostly deaf from the drone strike that took her parents. Elmira liked solitude and routine. Every morning she watched the news with Auntie. …drone strike this morning took out a military facility in… Then Elmira ducked into the garage to work. ’Bots skittered over her like eager mice. Soon everything felt right again....

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