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Fleeting Fame

by Colleen Anderson

 

Daiyu gasped. This rare discovery—a complete warrior’s burial chamber—ensured her career trajectory.

She pulled a carved jade amulet off the leathery mummy’s chest. The lantern flickered, the chamber echoing with more than falling water. Howling whooshed up the tunnel. Misty apparitions sliced her like freezing knives as she tried to block their access to the sarcophagus.

Slashing with archaeological picks did nothing as they dived into the shrivelled warrior’s form. Clawlike fingers twitched.

Taking the lantern oil, she doused the rousing body. Daiyu dropped a match, and flames cleansed everything, consuming the zombie.

There would be other finds.

Colleen Anderson

Colleen Anderson writes fiction and poetry, and her works have appeared in such publications as Polu Texni, Pulp Horror Book of Phobias, On Spec, and Cemetery Dance. A Body of Work was published by Black Shuck Books. She lives in Vancouver, BC, where she watches for mermaids and mould monsters.

Roots

by Colleen Anderson

 

The layering of nanobytes into his hypodermis laced Nirved’s nerves with lava. The pain muffled him. The nanotechnologist paused.

“No,” Nirved grunted. “Continue.”

The protective barrier had been set. Planting came next.

Large swaths of jungle lay barren, plants crisping under the sun’s inferno. Trees toppled throughout countries, and oxygen thinned. People died with the trees.

At best, this experiment could save the world. At worst, Nirved would die before Earth did.

 

Colleen Anderson

Colleen Anderson writes fiction and poetry, and her works have appeared in such publications as Polu Texni, Pulp Horror Book of Phobias, On Spec, and Cemetery Dance. A Body of Work was published by Black Shuck Books. She lives in Vancouver, BC, where she watches for mermaids and mould monsters.

Cautionary Steps

by Colleen Anderson

 

Sergei backed away from the greyish thing with flesh rotting off its body. It staggered toward him, moaning. “—rains.”

Trembling, Sergei moved onto the muddy road, water pouring in his eyes, nearly blinding him in the darkness. If only he could reach the carriage.

“—rrrrains,” the creature uttered, lifting its blackened hand and pointing.

Sergei turned, trying to climb through the carriage door when the horse, its eyes showing white, whinnied and reared at the approaching horror. As its hooves thudded into the earth, it tore away, the carriage wheels running over Sergei’s body.

“Reinsss,” croaked the zombie.

Colleen Anderson

Colleen Anderson’s writing has appeared in many venues. She has a BFA in writing and is a recipient of BC Arts Council and Canada Council grants. Her short fiction collection, A Body of Work is available online. She will be Creative Ink Festival guest of honor in Vancouver, BC. www.colleenanderson.wordpress.com

The Probe

by Colleen Anderson

 

Frank awoke, staring into the large, green faceted eyes of a pale grey alien. He shrieked, scrabbling backward on the steel table where he had been lying.

The creature held a long cylindrical tube in its four-fingered hand. “Greetings, being of Earth. We welcome you.”

“A-are you going to probe me?” Frank squeaked.

Another shorter, bluish-black alien behind the other one sighed. “I told you so.”

The alien grinned, showing a ridge of cartilage. “Actually, we were hoping that you would probe us.” It turned around, bending over. The other alien handed Frank the probe.

Frank screamed and promptly fainted.

 

Colleen Anderson

Colleen Anderson’s new and forthcoming fiction and poetry are in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias, By the Light of Camelot, Canadian Dreadful, Tesseracts 22 and others. In 2018, I edited the Alice Unbound: Beyond Wonderland anthology, and a collection of my dark fiction, A Body of Work, was published by Black Shuck Books (UK). www.colleenanderson.wordpress.com.

 

On the House

by Colleen Anderson

 

Jordan hated everything; wife left him for goddam grooming parlor, boss said he wasn’t meeting his quota.

He’d show them quota. He stormed into a bar, each person’s face hidden in the sins of their past.

 “Keep ‘em coming,” he ordered, slapping down his credit card. He would join the sinners.

The bartender snorted. “One rule. Don’t pass out. Never pass out!”

Jordan flooded his pain with whiskey shots and beer; then someone with too white a grin bought more.

Severe abdominal pain woke him. Straps restrained him, tubes leading to the bar.

The bartender smiled. “You’re on the house.”

 

Colleen Anderson

Colleen Anderson’s new and forthcoming fiction and poetry are in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias, By the Light of Camelot, Canadian Dreadful, Tesseracts 22 and others. In 2018, I edited the Alice Unbound: Beyond Wonderland anthology, and a collection of my dark fiction, A Body of Work, was published by Black Shuck Books (UK). www.colleenanderson.wordpress.com.