Area of Employment

Greg tried to keep track of the maze of halls as a guard led him to the supervisor’s office. He searched the endless off-white walls for any tell-tale imperfection each time his escort made a turn. The hallway was almost as narrow as his guard was broad. The short burly man needed to turn his…

Seeing the World

“We’ll be in the next room, okay?” Orion’s mother reassured him one last time before he heard the door close. He heard light footsteps on the stone floor walking in his direction. A rustling of fabric settled in front of him, and he heard an old man’s tired lungs wheeze lightly. Not out of breath…

Stellar Observation

“Something funny?” Sophia asked Craig. The pair sat in a red and white booth in a bright, quiet diner. They sat next to a window that looked out at the morning traffic. A thick wall of pedestrians passing the window obscured the gridlocked cars on the street. Sophia wore blue jeans and a rainbow hoodie;…

Potato, Plant

Melanie smiled to herself as she ate. She sat a brightly colored picnic table at the restaurant’s outdoor patio. The kids swarming the play-park reminded the mid-40s woman of simpler times. The setting sun left the sky twilight-purple. The year’s first cold front breezed across the back of her neck and gave her a slight…

World of Friendship

“Worst first day ever,” the thought crossed Quinn’s mind as she unlocked her bike. Around her, the world was deathly still. The green grounds of the imposing, prison-like high school were empty of students. Technically, school was over for the day but Quinn froze time as soon as the bell started to ring. She planned…

Super Soldier

“Josh…,” Mary sighed at her costumed savior. The would-be mugger fled out of the dim alley but the caped crusader did not follow him. Mary followed her usual shortcut home behind the strip mall she worked at. The sun disappeared below the horizon while the thug, a well-known school bully, waved a knife at her;…

New Earth

“Is that him?” Iris asked. She looked out over the top of her cubicle at the young, smiling man in a navy blue suit. He was having an animated conversation with several coworkers surrounding him. “Uhuh. I got to meet him this morning when he came in; he’s super nice,” Alice said. The older woman…

Waxing Anger

“Not without a parent,” the woman behind the counter shook her head. She wore a forest-green tanktop. Her arms and chest were covered in colorful tattoos. “Sorry.” Luna sighed. The pink-haired teenager expected as much; she did not know what drove her to enter the tattoo shop, to begin with. Something about the name, ‘Mundo’s…

Freshly Minted

“Well? What’s wrong?” Corina asked her husband. She rocked her swaddled, new daughter in her arms. She kissed the baby’s wispy strands of purple hair. Her husband gawked at the child with wide, nervous eyes. “You weren’t expecting anything other than ‘1’, were you?” she asked. “One thousand and three,” he said. His normally smooth…

Vanilla Secret

“You think that’s all?” Billy asked Cherry as he lowered his arms. He raised them to protect his head from an onslaught of stones that came flying out of small black holes; they seemed to stop coming. “For now, probably,” Cherry said. “But, I think you can count on Ballisea terrorizing you for a while.”…