Short Fiction

Short Fiction from issues of Apex Magazine

The Best Little Cleaning Robot in All of Faerie

by on Feb 3, 2015 in Short Fiction | 3 comments

4700 WORDS When everybody on the bridge of the interstellar mercenary cruiser Zinnia fell into a magic sleep, I was busy using my scrubber attachments to attack the usual stains under the captain’s chair. There was a sudden series of thuds, and I noticed that everyone had either slumped over in their chairs or fallen to the floor. At that moment the doors opened and about fifty tiny, filthy, hairy, gross little things streamed out, shrieking in some language I didn’t know. They started bashing in the consoles, whacking unconscious crew members upside the head with oversize clubs, and getting grit everywhere. “Hey,” I said, boosting upwards on a cushion of very clean...

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Inhale

by on Feb 3, 2015 in Short Fiction | 0 comments

950 WORDS Our destination is mundane and so tranquil. Maybe that’s why we’ve stopped here; it’s the product of an uninspired journey. The air is still and the sun is waiting, and at a spot midway between a limb and the earth, a half–fallen leaf comes to a decision. Nothing moves. It’s at this instant that we know we’ve been found lacking. A quiet moment alone with ourselves tells us who we are. Perhaps it’s the whole point of the waiting. Neighbor eyes neighbor, each as helpless as the other. We deserve another chance, don’t we? The other guy thinks so too, but he can’t answer. Cold silence, snowflake–perfect. We could hear our own hearts if they were still beating....

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Foreknowledge

by on Feb 3, 2015 in Short Fiction | 0 comments

4100 WORDS I stare out over my pregnant belly, feeling awkward. Feeling irritable. “Why wouldn’t I want to know?” “Some parents don’t want to know,” Dr. Anders says. “And we respect that.” “It’s right there on your clipboard, right?” I point to the clipboard, and he holds it infinitesimally closer to his chest. As if he’s hiding the results from me. “Yes,” Dr. Anders says. “Both the sex and cause of death of your unborn child are right here.” “Isn’t it kind of artificial then?” I ask. “I mean, you and all the nurses will just keep looking at that clipboard every week when we come in. So, you’d have to purposely conceal it from us.” “Yes,” Dr. Anders says. “But we’re...

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Heirloom Pieces

by on Feb 3, 2015 in Short Fiction | 1 comment

4600 WORDS Catering was potluck. Potluck, for God’s sake. Catriona forced a smile as the neighbours streamed into her living room, all plump and tanned and healthy, not a scar among them. They carried platters and casseroles and cheap plastic plates, the flimsy circles all gaudy crimson or green—probably discounted post–Christmas stock from Costco, she thought, cringing. Cling wrap was whipped off, cellophane crinkled into handbags or pockets, and the offerings laid out, higgledy–piggledy, on her late grandmother’s antique dining table. Fat two–litre soft drinks were plunked on the sideboard, rattling the crystal glasses Cat had rented for the occasion. Bottles of red,...

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Requiem, for Solo Cello

by on Feb 3, 2015 in Short Fiction | 3 comments

1170 WORDS I. The first time I saw you play: Bach’s Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello; your chin tucked down; your eyes soft but intense; the fingertips of your left hand deftly pressing into the fingerboard; the bow in your right moving across the strings like a lover’s sensate promise. Each chord struck a place in my soul, a waiting place of longing, and my self hovered in the spaces between the notes. I didn’t wipe the tears that spilled from my eyes. I couldn’t. Perhaps I should have; I had wings then, and the music was guiding me to flight. Guiding me away. II. I waited in the lobby, trying to gather the courage to speak, to tell you how your performance moved me....

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John Dillinger and the Blind Magician

by on Jan 6, 2015 in Short Fiction | 1 comment

4900 WORDS Argyle Paendragon sat at the bar of a speakeasy that was unlike any other he knew of in Chicago. The Blind Magician was situated just down an alleyway alongside the Biograph Theater behind a door hidden by a complex camouflaging charm and guarded by a brute no one wanted to trifle with. The old wizard had been coming here nearly every night since the place opened back in ’26, but tonight he was meeting someone, and according to the message he’d received an hour ago, it was urgent. He ordered a sidecar from Jonesy behind the bar, and he was just lighting his pipe when John Dillinger, Public Enemy Number One, took the stool beside him. “Right on time,” Argyle...

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