Fetch the Black Gold
Time off was not part of the experimental parameters the 8th were always subject too. While it would’ve been fair to have a longer period of rest after each foray if, say, they had gotten particularly bland or stomach-cramping tinned food that time, their current stay at the base in Tampico was just a fluke. Continue reading
That Dog had Something to Say
He really had no idea why he brought the book, even the first chapter had been insufferable, but he was certainly glad for it now with the sun beating down on his head. With one end of it stuffed under his collar the thin open novel made an excellent neck shield. Its cool pages were a relief on the raw shedding skin there. Continue reading
The Cave is not an Allegory
Tampico would’ve liked to be known for its architecture. Their cast iron balconies could’ve been right out of any European city a century ago. No matter how desperate your search for god, there was a church in Tampico grand enough to handle it. Its people would gladly sit you down and, in the Catholic hospitality as immortal as their god, share the region’s bounty with you. A tortilla of pounded corn stuffed with roasted iguana meat. Or perhaps armadillo. That was without even considering the bounty of seafood. All you had to do was stay close enough to the buildings, and to the food, to smell them. Straying might mean getting a whiff of the oil in the air. Continue reading
Author’s Note: This novella was inspired by the animals mankind has used in warfare since the dawn of civilization. None of them knew what they were doing, but some of them surely wanted to help. I take you now to one special litter, born in a place not yet swallowed by the first world war.
Gal rested on her bed of dry straw and whimpered. One of her ears flopped over her eye; she didn’t bother to move it. The freshly-washed hands hovering over her thought this odd, so they moved in and pushed the ear back. Gal loved the light, loved chasing the setting sun to the marshy edge of the island, so there was no reason for her to not see the light in her litter’s eyes. They were due any minute now. One of the hands rested on her swollen belly, both petting and feeling for the position of the puppies. She couldn’t tell the difference. Continue reading
“Barf! Barf, barf, barf!” Clandestiny cursed into the channel. “What do we do?”
“I don’t know; I wasn’t expecting this,” Drupe admitted. “Quick, under there!” The fairanquin tiptoed across the sidewalk and threw itself under a wood-slatted bench at the edge of Piston City’s one tiny park. Its limbs retracted as much as possible. The sun had been down for several hours, and most of the bumblers were asleep in their beds, but not the crowd gathered around Wallup Tower. Continue reading
(Author’s Note: This story was conceived when politics in the U.S. went especially sour in 2016. It’s all my fury over what happened. This is a story for those looking to defeat and escape the smothering presence of one particular flopping sack of curdled capitalist cream and microwaved id. I fight him the only way I can, with fairies in human-sized mechs. Enjoy…)
(NEW)(Ladyspiller): Hey, how’s my favor…
(NEW)(Podcrown): Chaxium, we really need…
(NEW)(Podcrown): This is urgent Chaxium,…
(OLD)(Leafshroud): Has Podcrown told you…
(OLD)(Podcrown): You haven’t gotten bac…
(OLD)(Podcrown): We have an offer for yo…
A bubble, tiny and blue, rose out of Chaxium’s pants pocket. It kept pace with her brisk walk as it rose to her face and popped in front of her eyes. She ignored it. Another bubble squeezed out and popped on the other side of her face. It was just going to keep going like that until she checked it or changed her settings. Chaxium stopped. There were others walking behind her, so she had to move over to the railing to let them pass. Continue reading
(Against the Grain will return after these messages from our sponsor)
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