Stellar Assassin

“You didn’t pay for the kid too,” Graham informed the voice on the phone. The contact on his phone said “Work” but it was always a different “Boss” that called. He sat in his car in a grocery store parking lot looking over the file but stopped at the mention of a son on the…

Star From Home

“For you, the first one’s on the house,” the bartender smiled at David. The somber stranger gave him a curious look as he sat down on the high stool. “Don’t know why I’m special, but I’ll take you up on it. Gimme the hardest thing covered by your offer,” he said. The bartender nodded. “No…

Taking a Gamble

“I just realized…,” Brooks said. He was sitting in a red and gold booth across from Margie; it was their first date and he suggested Chinese food. They made small talk until the waitress took their orders, then Brooks decided to dip into deeper conversation. “You didn’t know about other universes… so do you know…

Lucky Star

[Brooks requested the location of your universe. Accept?] Margie’s phone vibrated when the message popped up on the screen. She giggled about the app’s chosen terminology and pushed the ‘Yes’ prompt. She’d only been using the app for a couple of months but Brooks matched with her almost immediately. She filled out the usual profile…

Custom Footwear

“So he’s fast?” Jenny asked with a smirk. “There’s not a lot he can do in the AlterNet with just speed,” she said. She stood next to an aluminum picnic table in the park meeting with a client. Her hands hovered above the picnic table; a swarm of golden nanos swirled between the table and…

Handy Exposition

“The first thing you should do is get a tattoo,” Justice said between bites of food. She sat in Donna Chang’s restaurant enjoying a meal with her friend, Andrea, and Andrea’s parents. “A tattoo??” Andrea’s mother asked while shaking her head. “You’re only 14. You’re not getting a tattoo,” she told her daughter. The woman’s…

Team Justice

“Honey, are you sure this is the right place?” Mrs. Topps asked her daughter. The three-person family stood in front of a Chinese restaurant. A neon red sign came on as dusk fell around them; it read: “Donna Chang’s”.  “We don’t like Chinese food,” she reminded Andrea. “You and dad don’t like it,” the teenage…

Starry Eyed

“Five pieces left,” Stella sighed at the handful of candy. Five pieces of black licorice hard candy rested in her palms. Each one wrapped in translucent purple cellophane. The young woman sat cross-legged on her bed at nine in the morning. Sunlight filled one side of the room while she sat in shadow. She took…

AlterNet Home

“What Kingdom?” Matt yanked his hand out of the woman’s filthy hands. He hoped she didn’t think it was rude; the reflex was a direct reaction to her grabbing him when he did not expect it. Luckily she didn’t seem offended. She stood from her nest of frayed, discolored blankets and cardboard and smiled at…

Vanilla Origin

“She was beautiful,” Alliane said then returned the node to Billy. He gave it to her to show a picture of a white-haired woman in an orange dress sitting atop a t-rex. “But she looks so sad in that photograph.” “Yeah. But I absolutely love her,” Billy paused. He took dropped the node into the…