Sharp Recruiter

“Congratulations!” the strange woman said; she shouted to cut through the murmur of confusion. When she snapped her fingers, the bus went completely dark for a moment. When light returned, they were no longer on a grid-locked city street. The towering brick buildings were replaced by distant mountains. The sidewalks were replaced by lush green…

Wandering Star

“Oh, no. Not again,” the young woman said. She immediately whirled around to check who bumped into her. “I’m sorry!” she apologized to John. The mid-20s man looked at her, then he glanced around their island environment before settling his gaze on her again. “You did this?” he asked. “Where are we?” She nodded, then…

Zero Marketability

“Alright…,” Cliff said to himself. “He’s me, he should be open-minded enough to listen.” The middle-aged scientist stared at his doppelganger. The slightly younger, less gray version of him sat alone in a coffee shop working on a laptop. “No matter how crazy I sound,” he added with a sigh. “Right, and I’d totally believe…

Handy Addition

Morgan stretched her arms upward and used the action to lift herself to a sitting position in bed. The 18-year old woman yawned and rested her back against the headboard, then finally checked her cards. It took her almost three months after her 15th birthday to get used to the fact that she woke up…

Stellar Invitation

Christine skated on the empty boardwalk at top speed. She enjoyed the bright sunshine and cool breeze of a Saturday morning. The 17-year-old could skate as fast as she wanted; no one else was around. Christine convinced the entire town that none of them wanted to visit the boardwalk on Saturday mornings. She did not…

Starry Idol

“Maybe I’ll see you again!” Lee shouted with a wave. The pair of girls she defeated returned the gesture with broad smiles. Lee left the park on foot; she followed the ghost of an old road toward home. It wasn’t until after ten minutes of walking that she realized her mistake. “Duh,” her statement was…

Stellar Placebo

“This is a new one,” Lloyd said. He was used to showing up in dim alleys near a crowded street. Sometimes it was day, sometimes it was night. He saw bits of each Earth when he stepped out to ask, but he had never landed inside somewhere. Much less somewhere clean and empty. A gleaming…

Stellar Vision

“I could stare into those eyes forever,” Devon mused. He half-listened to   Ester talk about her day. Her toffee-colored eyes distracted him so much that he did not hear the question she asked. He only clued in when he realized she wasn’t speaking anymore. “I’m sorry,” Devon rubbed his blond hair and gave her…

Royal Reference

Poe felt like he slammed into a wall of noise the moment he stepped into the pizzeria. The loud laughter of children melded perfectly with the cacophony of video game sounds and the normal murmur of a restaurant. It was so packed, he considered taking his order to go; but, he gave a quick glance…

Hell, oh, Neighbor.

“Is that peppermint?” Greg wondered as soon as the odor hit his nose. He was on his knees staring down into an open manhole, but the only thing he saw was inky darkness. Out of all the odors he expected from a sewer, fresh peppermint was the last. The mid-30s man fished his cellphone from…