Tag Archive for: microfiction

You Better Watch Out

by Matt Krizan


This year, when Santa crept down the chimney, Caroline was waiting.

She hid behind the tree, delighted to see Santa go straight for the milk and cookies she’d left. As he munched away, Caroline tip-toed up behind him, quiet as a mouse…

…and smacked him across the head with a baseball bat.

He dropped like a bowl full of jelly, and Caroline laid into him, bludgeoning the not-so-jolly old elf about the head and torso.

“Next time,” said Caroline, as Santa lay broken and bleeding on the floor, “when I ask you for a pony, you give it to me.”


Matt Krizan

Matt Krizan is a former certified public accountant who writes from his home in Royal Oak, Michigan. His short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in various publications, including Factor Four Magazine, Daily Science Fiction, and Martian Magazine. Find him online at mattkrizan.com and on Twitter as @MattKrizan


Christmas Cards

by Sheri White


My parents own a business, so we get a lot of Christmas cards with family photos on the front. You know, everyone in matching pyjamas, even the dog (okay, the dog’s cute).

I hate them.

Several years ago, I noticed a distorted face on a card. I thought nothing of it, figuring the person moved or something.

A few months later, that person died. It happens every year.

I don’t want to look at the cards, but it’s a Christmas Eve tradition to admire them together.

This year, Mom put our Christmas picture on the refrigerator.

My face is distorted.


Sheri White 

Sheri White has been published in many anthologies (several of which are holiday themed), including Alternate Holidays, published by B-Cubed Press, 666 (Dark Drabbles, Book 11), published by Black Hare Press, Halldark Holidays (edited by Gabino Iglesias), and The Deathlehem Series, published by Grinning Skull Press.




Resembling a Mother

by Angela Zimmerman


The change happened quickly. Monday, Mother started screaming the last word of her sentences. By Wednesday, Caleb found Mother standing in the kitchen with a knife pressed against the puppy’s throat.

Even though Mother received the latest updates, Caleb could see that Mother’s biometrics were failing. Failing biometrics resulted in unstable personality drives. And if the news reports were correct, unstable personality drives usually ended in bloodshed. 

Sneaking into the room had been easy, sleep was Mother’s time for shutdown. The hard part for Caleb was forcing the knitting needles deep into Mother’s eye sockets so she never rebooted again.


Angela Zimmerman 

Angela Zimmerman resides in the Southeastern United States with her wife and children. Always one for another cup of coffee, Angela can be found either in front of a computer using her customer service skills or creating ghosts with her words.




by Kimberly Rei


The light, lithe figure moved through the crime scene quietly, without disturbing evidence. Her team watched her. She didn’t fit in. She looked too human. Or not human enough. She made them nervous and they hated her for it.

She crouched, eyes flickering to take in the body. She reached for the victim and froze, shutting off internal cameras.

“Any thoughts?” The lead detective. Damn it.

The android looked up, hand twitching back, “Looks like the rest. We’ve got a serial on our hands.”

Fingers curled to hide a speck of blood. She’d have to be more careful next time.


Kimberly Rei

Kimberly Rei does her best work in the places that can’t exist… the in-between places where imagination defies reality. With a penchant for dark corners and hooks that leave readers looking over their shoulder, she is always on the lookout for new ideas and new ways to make words dance.
Website: reitales.com



by Jessica Brook Johnson


Penny was checking her phone’s texts as her smart car cruised along the highway.

There was a high-pitched ding followed by a message from HotBoi752. “I’m tired of being ignored. I deserve better.”

She rolled her eyes. “AI dating? What was I thinking?”

The car began to accelerate. “What the hell?” She flipped the switch for manual control and pumped the breaks. The car only went faster, speeding toward an eighteen-wheeler. Penny hit the unlock button and yanked the door handle. It didn’t budge. She started screaming.

Her phone dinged again. Her eyes flickered down.

“We should see other people.”


Jessica Brook Johnson

I’ve traditionally published ten short works of fiction, one work of poetry, and I’ve won two Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future awards.


Flying Lessons

by Andrew Kurtz


“I wish people were born with wings, so they could soar in the sky,” Sid told his android butler as they stood on the two-hundred-foot mountain peak after a rigorous climb.

“Have you completed your flying lessons yet? You have been taking a lot of them,” the android stated.

“Yesterday was the final lesson. All I need to do now is—” Sid said as the android pushed him off the mountain peak.

“You need more lessons,” the android yelled as Sid plummeted to his death on the ground below, unable to finish his sentence about buying an airplane.


Andrew Kurtz

Andrew Kurtz is an up-and-coming horror author who writes very graphic and violent short stories which have appeared in numerous horror anthologies. 
Since childhood, he has loved horror films and literature.
His favourite authors are Stephen King, Clive Barker, H.G. Wells, Richard Matheson, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft,and Ray Bradbury


First Person, Present Tense

by Pauline Yates


Eager to try the new AI Book Writer app, I download the program and enable the wireless imagination transfer function.

“Welcome to Book Writer,” a computer simulated voice says. “Please imagine scenes for text conversion and click upload.”

I imagine the scenes in “Murder By Moonlight”, the crime novel I started but never finished, and click upload.

“Images received. Enabling text conversion. Error. Crime detected. First-degree murder, punishable by law.”

“It’s fiction, you dumb computer.”

“Commencing jury deliberation. Guilty verdict received. Downloading penalty.”

“What? Cancel!”

“Appeal denied. Dispensing penance.”

An electric shock fries my brain.

 The computer beeps. “Termination complete.”


Pauline Yates

Pauline Yates lives in Australia and writes horror and dark speculative fiction. Links to her publications can be found here: https://linktr.ee/paulineyates


Expert System

by Scott O’Neill


I get the others to stop whimpering so I can hear my smartwatch.

“sAIveME free expert system downloaded. Please summarise your crisis.”

“Class-Nine shuttlecraft. Drive damaged by hostile lifeforms. Pilot and engineer eaten by same. Nontechnical crew to repair drive for escape.”

“Acknowledged. Scan damage and available resources.”

I show my watch the engine and repair kits.

“Acknowledged. Processing.”

The others crowd around to stare in breathless hope at the crawling progress metre on my watch.

“Solution complete. In-app purchase required. Please tender twenty-nine credits.”

“Smartwatch, check balance.”

“Balance twenty-two credits.”

I’m still laughing brokenly when they come for me.


Scott O’Neill.

Scott writes reports and memorandums by day and speculative fiction by night, with short works published by various presses. He likes technology a lot, but he thinks we trust it too much. He can be found on Twitter @wererooster.


Doors to Manual

by Liam Hogan


“Ship! Seal doors against the zombies!”

A relaxed, artificial voice queried: <Define zombies?>

As far as our ship’s mega-intelligent AI was concerned, there wasn’t any difference between us and them. Whenever one of the infected approached any of the doors, whether to sickbay or the bridge, it opened with a polite shssh.

Anderson, our second in command—first, if you didn’t count the zombified captain—thought for a moment.

“Ship: implement new protocol. All doors open only on specific voice command.”

<Confirmed. On what command?>

But before Anderson could say anything, another voice burbled over the intercom. The captain’s.



Liam Hogan

Liam Hogan is an award-winning short story writer. He helps host Liars’ League London, volunteers at the creative writing charity Ministry of Stories, and lives and avoids work in London. More details at http://happyendingnotguaranteed.blogspot.co.uk.



by Samantha Arthurs


They told me that smart cars were the way of the future.

I wish now that I had never listened.

I’m trapped inside; my own coffin on wheels. The automatic door locks are no longer responding to my fingerprints. My voice commands go unheard. I’m not sure where we are going. I just know that I dread arriving at our destination.

My wife, she tried to stop it. She got left behind miles back, nothing more than a strange stain on the pavement.

It’s playing soothing music now. To calm me, I suppose, as we roll on into the night.


Samantha Arthurs

Samantha Arthurs is the author of the Rust series, the dystopian-horror Rag & Bone trilogy, and the upcoming horror series Dreadful Seasons. She is an active member of the HWA, and runs the Appalachian Spooky Hour podcast. You can read more about her and her stories at sarthurs.com.