Short Fiction

Short Fiction from issues of Apex Magazine

King of the Bastards (Excerpt)

by on Aug 4, 2015 in Short Fiction | 0 comments

[EXCERPT] THREE Misty New World ROGAN KEPT HIS EYES CLOSED, LISTENING TO THE SEAGULLS shrieking above, feeling the ruined vessel rock gently on the waves. Then he knew no more, until— “Uncle,” Javan shouted with exuberance. “We live still!” Rogan lay adhered to the hull in a dried circle of blood, seawater, and sweat. The ocean lapped against the shattered craft, and the prolonged rhythm had lulled him to sleep. Rubbing his eyes and scratching at his salt-hardened beard, Rogan raised his head and blinked. He licked his sun-blistered lips and winced, grinning at the pain. “You’re a brilliant advisor after all, Javan. It’s not a wonder I brought you along to interpret and...

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Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys: The Elephant’s Tale

by on Aug 4, 2015 in Short Fiction | 1 comment

(3,500 Words) Ladies and Gentlemen, Children of All Ages… Every circus has a story, and every story has its secrets. Those of us taxed with bearing the burden of such things do so with no sense of pleasure, only duty. We remember so that others, in time, may forget. I. Here, the music: a calliope. The notes, instantly recognizable; the tune, age-old and clichéd. The instrument itself, its brass pipes pitted and dark, is carried within an open-sided wagon, the wheels painted in once bright shades of yellow and red. There is no way to adjust the volume, so the music is always too loud, too brash. I’ve always hated the music. It brings to mind the sharp pain of a cattle...

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It is Healing, It is Never Whole

by on Aug 4, 2015 in Short Fiction | 0 comments

(3,400 Words) When the souls of the suicides come tumbling out of the low, gray clouds, it’s given to us to collect them, catalog them, contain them, and load them onto the train. None of us know where the train goes—it’s the general consensus, to the extent that there is one, that it would serve no purpose for us to know, and anyway it’s not our job. Our job is to collect the souls of the suicides and do everything that comes after. The soul of a suicide is a delicate thing, a floating wisp of silver gauze, shimmering and nearly transparent. They fall slowly, almost dancing, and sometimes I step outside the dormitories onto the dead grass and I tilt my head back, and I...

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Coming Undone

by on Aug 4, 2015 in Short Fiction | 1 comment

(800 Words) Entry #070-698 I was born incomplete, unfinished. My right leg ends in a stubby knee. The corresponding arm never developed past the shoulder. People always think these undeveloped limbs are the error, but it’s the full-length, ‘healthy’ limbs that make me wrong. I’ve spent my whole life trying to fix God’s mistake. Entry #070-699 When I was old enough, Mama and Pappa bought me a plastic prosthetic leg. It was slick and it slid against the stub of my knee, birthing goosebumps. It was wrong, but they couldn’t know that. On the holo-screen, I saw men and women more metal than flesh. Glistening steel connected to bone and muscle, woven under their skin....

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Brisé

by on Aug 4, 2015 in Short Fiction | 0 comments

(5,300 Words) You are in the kitchen. You are staring at the coffeepot, at your reflection in the glass carafe, much as you stared yesterday at the door of the microwave, and the dark night before when you fixated on the patio door. “How many?” you whisper. “How many more could there have been?” You back away, then turn and leave the kitchen. As you pass through the house, your reflection catches you in the polished silver potbelly of the umbrella stand, in the sun-shot crystals of the chandelier, in the convex face of the hallway clock. § Erin stands in her hallway at the studio door and grips the rubbed-brass doorknob. She rests her forehead against the solid wood and...

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Never Chose This Way

by on Jul 7, 2015 in Short Fiction | 3 comments

1600 Words Once upon a time, I thought I was a girl. Once upon a time, I lived in a castle. Well, it wasn’t really a castle. It was a fortress of sorts, though, and it had something like a moat and something like dragons, or that’s the story we told each other at night, whispered from room to room, down halls that stank of antiseptic and that stuff you sprinkle on carpets to soak up bodily fluids. The smell, I think, lent something to it. The dragons all had hypodermic needles. The dragons all wore scrubs. There were bars on our windows, and we had all been somebody’s princess once, but somebody got disillusioned. Because teenage girls are like that. You try to raise us...

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