Short Fiction

Short Fiction from issues of Apex Magazine

The New Girl

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

3763 WORDS Badger had followed her dreams to the water’s edge, one day at a time spooling out in front of her as though it was meant to be when in fact it was only dreamed of. Then she was stuck, stymied, as her dreams only showed the water’s edge, nothing more, for days, and her food began to run out. On the fifth day, when she was trying to learn how to dig clams using her vision mods for extra information, she saw her first seaplane, and ambition bloomed. Seaplanes were a great deal easier to follow than dreams. Badger went north along the coast, catching a crab or two and eating seaweed, chewing it for miles and miles as she walked. There were freshwater streams...

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Candy Girl

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

3910 WORDS The trouble starts when I pick up my umbrella and it pricks my finger. “Ouch!” I examine the wound. It is not bleeding but when I squeeze it a thick, brown substance very like foundation starts to come out. “What’s that?” asks my cousin Ginika watching the liquid. “Dunno. Pricked my finger. This came out.” I squeeze some more. Suddenly the neat little prick rips along its length like a ladder in tights. “Hmmm. That doesn’t look right. We should see someone.” We get on her Vespa, me holding my index finger out, umbrella in the other hand. It’s slow going before we hit the main road; up and down, around potholes brimming with rainwater, beside gutters teeming...

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Brute

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

4767 WORDS The apartment’s DNA scanner can pick Anton out of the crowd almost a block away, so the sliding doors were unlocked and the lobby lighting was welcoming when me and him arrived with the crate. Automated apartments are cushy like that, but I would get lonely without human voices. Anton likes it better that way so he can concentrate on work. The latest of which was, of course, the crate: a cube of dull green armor, military–grade stuff that looked ready for an atomic bomb. “We’ll need cracking equipment,” I said. “It’ll cost.” “There’s someone with a cracker down Tiber Street,” Anton said, grinning and adjusting the top hat he never sets at the same angle...

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What I Am

by on Oct 7, 2014 in Short Fiction | 0 comments

I know what I am. I am Big Apple. I bear witness to struggle, to tragedy small and enormous, to daily happiness, madness, and vengeance. I am gas leak, rent hike, and sewer blockage. I am five–alarm fire. I am subway strike, rat infestation, rabid raccoons in the Cloisters. I am ten foot stacks of garbage. I am old lady purse–snatch, I am drunkard and drug–addled, dead beneath river rock bridge in Central Park. I am the Mexican cartel cutting deals with the Russian mafia. I am cold wind and icy stone. I am rumbling subway and crazy serial killer pushers dropping strangers onto the tracks. I am long–forgotten statues and arches. I am museum, I am priceless art and...

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The House in Winter

by on Oct 7, 2014 in Short Fiction | 8 comments

There is a presence in completely dark rooms — even rooms in ordinary houses — a sense of certainty that someone else is there. It fills all the space where you are not. It wraps long arms around you and whispers in your ear. It lets you know without a doubt that this house in the dark is not yours. I know this house is not mine. This story is not mine. Winter has come, and three days ago all the mirrors in the house stopped reflecting my face. The snow is falling. Frost draws illusory cracks on the windows and reflects the glow of candles. I can feel the house’s hunger growing in my belly, sharp as the corners of the sickle moon. Winter is the hungry season. Nothing...

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Coins for Their Eyes

by on Oct 7, 2014 in Short Fiction | 3 comments

I opened a door and walked through. § Eyebrows are the hardest part. Lips are comparatively easy and forgiving of a bit of asymmetry. Cheek and body blushing, if it’s subtle, is similar. But eyebrows require me to start with the finest possible lines with the pastels. They don’t have to be exactly the same — how many have I sent out into the world with one brow lifted, as if they were sardonically puzzled? — but they do have to be somewhat similar in depth and thickness to be believable. Eyes, too, are difficult, even though I merely install those instead of paint and pastel them. It’s the gaze, you see. They have to be canted at similar but not identical angles, or...

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