Blinding blue light — a deafening crack — wind whipping my fur — I’m flying — no — I’m falling. I twist and thump down on splayed claws. A startled tortoiseshell springs up — she glowers with dark saucer eyes, all arched back and spiked fur. I sink down, as the smell of thunder settles around us.
“Who are you?” She hisses.
“These days I call myself A.k.a.”
“Where did you come from?”
Do you remember having sex?
No, neither do I. That is to say, I remember that we had it. I just don’t recall the doing of it, the sensation. Perhaps it’s a natural response to all the children we’ve had; our minds and bodies conspiring to make us disinterested, our reproductive duty done. Or perhaps it has something to do with the way we were changed.
I was having lunch at my favourite cafe in Garema Place last Saturday after visiting a sick parishioner when a young couple I'd been giving premarital counselling came up to me. The young woman's eyes showed she had been crying hard.
"Padre, you've got to listen." They sat at my table without being invited: but listening's my job.
FROM: John Goodlow- Chief Animal Control Officer, Ardmonton City Council
September 21, 2038
TO: Mr Gregory Pfeffer, 835 Milliton Boulevard, Ardmonton GE 50327
RE: Uncontrolled Animals
Dear Mr Pfeffer,
This will be the Council’s last letter to you. We have issued numerous warnings, both verbal and written, and although a fondness for felines has allowed me to delay this, I can no longer stall the inevitable.
It looked like a toy village — a cluster of brightly coloured plastic houses climbing up a hill beside a wide river. Filling the space where there should have been a street was a grey plastic tube.
"It's a pilot project of the Submersible Cities Research Centre at the University of Eastern Australia," Robbie said. "You know the way most of the cities of the world will be underwater within a century because of rising sea levels. The idea is, rather than having to move, they can adapt to the new water levels, and enjoy the amenity of an aquatic environment."
The C-130 is flying pretty low and all I see is sand. Hardly an area that might become paradise.
Desert as far as the eye can see but the exact area for this type of experiment.
The new strain of our bacteria just might be able to tease out enough moisture from the dead, dry soil beneath us to enable something to grow.
But it needs a lot of heat. A lot. More than anything you usually get from the sun.
Check your fillinged teeth. Check the split tips of your hair. Check your dirt-clogged fingerprints for words within the whorls.
Because this transmission is coming to you, whether you like it or not.
Night has drifted in like a homeless friend, asking to stay on your couch, and you dare not refuse in case you never see him again. The guilt would gut you. Instead, you lie awake listening to his breathing, afraid at every jagged pause his lungs will give out.
The storm raged as if in violent disapproval of the peaks that dared reach its elevated position. One peak, the highest, seemed singularly resented. Bolt after bolt of lightning struck it — until the lightning came to a sudden stop. Two figures stood atop the peak. One, a wizard by the ornate staff and esoteric symbols that trimmed his black robes, the other, a small, winged monkey that sat upon its master’s shoulder. “Are we there yet?” it said in a squeaky voice.
Coming In Issue 219
by Timothy Gwyn
Jumping To Conclusions
by Simon Petrie
by David Scholes
Beware The Antifox
by Pascal Inard
by Harris Tobias
The Truth Test
by Wes Parish
by Lachlan Walter
by Ovidiu Bufnila
Online Since Feb 1998
Yesterday & Tomorrow Are Today — by Andrew Massey
In Space No One Can Hear — by Laurie Bell
Ben Aaronovitch — Panel presentation at Contact 2016 Part 1
Going Away — by Mark Tremble
Fortune Favours The Brave — by Benjamin Hayes
Ben Aaronovitch — Panel presentation at Contact 2016 Part 2
Home Of The Gods — by Garry Dean
The Real Dream World — by David Scholes
Inaugural Broadcast Of The Children's Cooking Show — by Wes Parish
Ben Aaronovitch — Panel presentation at Contact 2016 Part 3
His Favourite Dance - by Paul Sheringham
Ben Aaronovitch — Panel presentation at Contact 2016 Part 4
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When I die I’m going to leave my body to science fiction.