Short Fiction

Short Fiction from issues of Apex Magazine

Sister of Mercy

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

Morning, and the frost was thick on ferns already yellow with the changing season. The sun broke from the horizon, thin light stirring the dying insects to crawl for one more day. I pushed the scratchy woolen blankets off my body and stood, shivering, from the bed I made in the meadow. From the small heap of our possessions, I pulled out a gas mask, slipped it over tangled hair. My breath rasped in and out through the filters. Next, a small tin plate and a spoon in my hands. It was time to give Rose her dose. In the center of the clearing, where the clay soil showed red through tufts of dried grass, stood the chamber I’d built for her. The place where my sister would be...

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Ten Days’ Grace

by on Aug 4, 2014 in Short Fiction | 12 comments

Julia Kettan first knew her husband was dead when she looked out the window and saw a car emblazoned with the crest of the Bureau of Family Affairs pull up in the driveway. Her legs went weak, though whether from relief or fear she couldn’t tell. Robert hadn’t come home the previous evening. She’d phoned it in that morning to both the police and the Bureau, not wanting to risk a second major infraction under the Spousal Laws in case anything really had happened, despite being convinced that Robert had just drunk too much after work and decided to sleep at a friend’s. He’d done that before, and each time she’d forced herself to let the Bureau know, just in case. And now...

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Courtship in the Country of Machine–Gods

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

PLEASE ENJOY THE FOLLOWING NOVELETTE Courtship in the Country of Machine–Gods by Benjanun Sriduangkaew Featured in The Apex Book of World SF 3 edited by Lavie Tidhar An Apex Publications Book! One of the most exciting young writers of speculative fiction working today, Thai author Benjanun Sriduangkaew exploded onto the scene in 2012 with a string of high–profile novelettes, of which this lyrical tale is one. In the shadow of machine–gods I tell wayfarers of a time when my people were a nightmare the color of hemorrhage and glinting teeth. There are other narratives, but this is the one they want to hear most, the one they pay with their adoration and bright–eyed want,...

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Insurrection in Silk

by on Jul 1, 2014 in Short Fiction | 2 comments

She is drowning in organza and shantung, a rustling mass of indigo and royal purple. The fabric whispers under her hands, defying her to prick a finger and spot the silk. Its cost is unfathomable: even the scraps are precious, trimmed square and painstakingly hemmed into handkerchiefs for royal favors, and the whole is worth far more than a dressmaker’s life. The apprentices’ work is done, and they’ve gone out to enjoy the Conqueror’s Festival or home to their beds. The imperial dressmaker remains, burning through scores of beeswax candles, her neck and shoulders aching as she hunches over her task. The basting must be finished before the fitting tomorrow morning,...

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Blessed are the Hungry

by on Jul 1, 2014 in Short Fiction | 6 comments

That afternoon they flushed San Carlos Seldran out the airlock. Everyone on Cabra Deck was required to watch, even the little ones. Despite what old people tell you, in the vacuum of space your blood won’t boil. Your body won’t explode either. In less than a minute you’d simply die from a lack of oxygen. There wouldn’t be time to scream. His was a humane execution — quick, clean and painless. “The Lord preserves all who love him but all the wicked he destroys,” growled the ancient Holosonic, droning the day’s lesson with great pomp and solemnity. My family and I watched as our former parish priest drifted away towards infinity. The void swallowed him up with a deep...

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The Food in the Basement

by on Jul 1, 2014 in Short Fiction | 18 comments

Kaden mostly fed Sondra frozen meals and salads, though he made a point to buy her favorite snacks and desserts when she was behaving. She had a small kitchen in the basement and he would restock her food supply about once a week. When he left she would hide part of the food, in case she was punished by only being given bland food again. But no matter what, Sondra always had food, probably because Kaden wouldn’t get much nutrition when he fed on her if she was starving. Sondra was reading Rabbit at Rest when she heard the locks of the door being released. She glanced at the page number and shut the book. She placed it back on the bookcase, so it looked like it had never...

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