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The Rift

by Bernardo Villela

 

All aboard were awestruck. Creating the dimensional rift was simple, but from it came a spacecraft identical to ours.

The mission commander’s words echoed in my mind: Conducting geopolitical and scientific experiments over there shields us from consequence.

“Full speed ahead!” I said.

Our comms buzzed.

“This is the Nautilus.” From our twin ship I hear my voice speaking. It was us from another dimension.

“Thanks, our tech failed.”

My heart rate tripled. We looked at one another.

“Houston!”

“Remember your objective.”

We proceeded. The rift closed behind us sealing our doppelgänger’s fate. We were expendable, all versions of us.

 

Bernardo Villela

Bernardo Villela has published a novella The Isle of Helyr and three short story collections The Bloodmaster Trilogy and Teenage Death Songs Vols. 1 & 2, and has short fiction included in Coffin Bell Journal, The Dark Corner Zine, 101 Proof Horror, A Monster Told Me Bedtime Stories, Page & Spine, and forthcoming in 42 Stories Anthology, Constraint 280, and Rivet. You can read more about these and various other pursuits at www.miller-villela.com.

Annihilation

by Victor Nandi

 

Blood spattered as bullets tore through soft flesh. Olivia and her followers fell. Their bodies lay still for a moment. Then, electric sparks sizzled from their artificial limbs that yanked them to their feet.

Olivia rose, stabbed her metallic hand into a guard’s chest, and walked into the control room. Teary-eyed, she hit some buttons.

“Target cities locked,” the console said.

A slot lit up displaying Insert key to launch warhead.

“You need the key.” A dying guard grinned.

Relief filled Olivia’s face. But it soon changed to helpless horror as metallic nanoparticles extended from her fingertip forming a key.

 

Victor Nandi

Victor Nandi is a Senior Content Developer with an Edtech Company. His works have been published in Verdad Magazine, Amanda Steel Publication, Virtual Zine, Clover and White, Tiger Shark Magazine, FTHM Magazine (publication due in January 2021), Healing Words Exhibition in London, and Nano Nightmares.

It’s Out There

by Constantine E. Kiousis

 

David cowered in a dark corner of his bedroom, eyes wet behind fractured glasses, body shaking, arms clasped around folded legs. He could hear it walking down the hallway, heavy footsteps thudding towards the locked door.

He’d spent his whole life searching for them, dedicated every waking moment on deciphering clues others dismissed as conspiracy theory fuel. But he’d figured it out: the cattle mutilations, the crop circles, the sightings, the abductions.

He’d pieced it together.

He’d discovered the truth.

What never crossed his mind was that he wasn’t supposed to.

The door exploded.

David screamed.

They’d come for him.

 

Constantine E. Kiousis

Constantine E. Kiousis spends most of his time wandering through the worlds he has created, exploring every nook and cranny and constantly discovering new places and stories that need to be told.

He’s currently plotting ways to unleash the terrifying stories hiding in his mind upon the world, one word at a time.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KiousisStoryteller

Judgement

by Chris Bannor

 

I did everything by the book, followed every rule and regulation. None of that matters now.

I can see inside the window and nothing changes the judgement they passed. I want to scream that I did what I had to so we could survive.

The ship gets further away as they continue to watch.

I try to keep my face still, but terror eats away at me, and pain is etched in my bones. I turn my head and my body rotates. Now there is no one to see my last moments.

There’s no witness in the void of space.

 

Chris Bannor

Chris Bannor is a speculative fiction writer who lives in Southern California. Chris learned her love of genre stories from her mother at an early age and has never veered far from that path. You can chat with Chris on Facebook @chrisbannorauthor

 

On the Edge of the Map

by Kaitlyn Arnett

 

It’s supposed to be a joke, marking the boundaries of space with a kraken next to the compass, or dragons curled alongside the edges of the page.

But the creature in front of them is real, solid, and there. It’s every monster they tell stories about, all dagger-like fangs and sharp claws. Its body wraps around a star, and when it speaks, its voice is that of a thousand people.

“You have seen something not meant for human eyes,” the voices call, “and you can stay no longer.”

It moves, and when it stills, nothing remains.

Nothing, but the unknown.

 

Kaitlyn Arnett

Kaitlyn Arnett is a teen author from Temecula, California. She primarily writes drabbles and short stories, specifically in the horror, fantasy, and sci-fi genres.

Sunset

by Trevor Jess

 

I toss another green log into the struggling fire. It sputters in protest. I’m only prolonging the inevitable.

The cold permeates my suit, licking away the little remnants of heat. I stare at the frozen lake.

It should be teeming with laughter, bodies splashing joyfully.

But it’s barren.

Almost.

Beside me, a human block of ice. Crystallised. Their skin like fine salt.

They didn’t last.

Neither will I.

I look skyward. Our once vibrant sun flickering in a death dance.

Not long now.

I sigh.

Will anyone wonder what happened to us?

A final ripple of light.

And I wait.

 

Trevor Jess

Trevor began writing twenty-five years ago. Always a pen or pencil in hand when he was young, he could often be found doodling. Doodling led to drawing. Drawing led to creating his own comics. Comics led to storytelling. Storytelling led to writing. He still enjoys all aspects of his journey.

Prospector

by Rich Rurshell

 

Buzzing filled the air as swarms of impregnators scoured the colony. The colonists were strewn around the settlement, paralysed, and riddled with eggs. Hosts to the next generation.

Sickly moonlight shone from the slick plating of the Prospector strolling through the chaos. It infiltrated the colony’s information network, accessing files documenting the colony’s eighty-seven-year history, before flying to the colony flagpole, incinerating the Fortuna Colony Flag with a pulse of energy, and constructing a beacon in its place.

Ascending to a vessel floating silently above the settlement, the Prospector left the swarms to prepare everything for the hatching.

 

Rich Rurshell

Rich Rurshell is a writer of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. From his home in Suffolk, England, Rich likes to ponder the existence of the sinister, the fantastic, and the downright terrifying. He likes to explore the darker side of life and what lies within us and celebrate the beauty in the world and what lies beyond.
Facebook: @RichRurshellAuthor

A Space Pirate’s Life

by Charlotte Langtree

 

The ship was like nothing Jasper had seen before. Porous walls secreted a strange substance, and the floor throbbed beneath his feet. Leading his men into a small chamber, he stilled as a sharp hiss erupted.

Liquid flew from the wall onto his arm, searing clothes and skin.

“This ship’s alive!”

He tried to run, but his boots stuck to the floor. With growing horror, he watched as his men were drenched in acidic ooze and devoured by the living ship they’d hoped to pilfer. When his turn came, death was a blessing.

Satisfied, the ship returned to its hibernation.

 

Charlotte Langtree

Charlotte Langtree is an author and poet from the North of England. Her work has been published by the Inner Circle Writers’ Magazine, WPC Press, The Poet, Paper Djinn Press, and Black Hare Press.
You can find her on Facebook or online at www.charlottelangtree.wordpress.com.

Machinations

by Jen Mierisch

 

Back then, my job was to strip the corpses and bundle clothes for reuse. I tugged shoes and tossed them towards the heap.

On one shoe, a word was written, red dots against green: HELP. Our six-eyed Masters could not see colour.

Glancing around, I pried up the insole. The space held a key, an address, and a fervent request: deliver nitric acid to help build the weapon that would set us free.

Nowadays, I have all the sugar water I can drink, and a sunny apartment aboveground. The Masters may be ugly, but their rewards for loyalty are lovely.

 

Jen Mierisch

Jen Mierisch draws inspiration from science fiction, ghost stories, and the wacky idiosyncrasies of human nature. Her work has appeared in Horla, Dream Noir, 50-Word Stories, 101 Proof Horror, and elsewhere. She lives, works, and writes just outside Chicago, Illinois, USA. Read more at www.jenmierisch.com.

Artificial Favouritism

by J.M. Faulkner

 

Ceiling lights flicker. Our cutlery pauses over our plates.

The ship is dying, and so are we.

It’s coughed out our last, artificial meal for Dad and me; he calls it supper, so I guess it’s The Last Supper.

“Don’t be afraid of the dark, Stella.”

He thinks I’m frightened because I’m twelve-nearly-thirteen, but I’ve given myself to fate.

Nicolai, the ship’s AI, whispered that it favours my chances of rescue because of my age and the speed of intergalactic travel. Nicolai told me there’s backup power for one freezer and grill, and it’s identified one last source of meat.

 

J.M. Faulkner

J.M. Faulkner is a British English teacher living in Prague, Czech Republic—the perfect place to steep himself in the architecture and tumultuous history that fuels his curiosity. Outside of work, you can find him hiking in splendid, Bohemian forests with his beagle.

His works have been published by Liquid Imagination and Havok Publishing
Website: jmfaulkner.com