Lemon ice cream

Frederick flings my door open and starts talking. I pay him no heed and lean over my painting of a secluded Japanese shrine in the forest. It’s raining there, raindrops pat gently on the tiled roof and leave tiny circles on the puddle right before the entrance. The painting is almost finished, but I can’t … Read more

The Cross Section

It was the first cross section Mararita had ever seen, and she fainted. Her cerebral unit short-circuited, and she bent back into the bridge stretch. Her human coworker Gustav rolled his eyes and said, “You’re such a wuss!” She blocked a reflex to rise gracefully and sucker punch him. Her new emotional intelligence update patch … Read more

Something’s odd with time these days

Something’s odd with time these days. I can barely follow its changing rhythm: it crawls forward, hesitates, and then swooshes on at a maddening speed. It tosses and wriggles, and it wants me off its back. I panic. What if one day I wake up, and the time has skittered ahead, leaving me in the … Read more

Uncharted waters of the apocalypse

Here we are, steering slowly into the uncharted waters of the apocalypse. Nothing moves; even the waves are hushed, unnerving: they roll coyly one over another, concealing the horror in the deep. And we wait. Our lives are doomed, for the horror is a marine beast, pitiless like the legendary Kraken, vile like the mightiest … Read more

With me, you are connected

A quarantine story Alya De · With Me, You Are Connected Hi there. Thanks for tuning in. The accent that tells you this bleak tale is Russian, and if that helps, you’re welcome to imagine that you’re in a dull, gray, mirthless Russian city they like to show in the movies. Though the location doesn’t … Read more

The Things you never knew existed

The world is alive with Things. They hide between the folds of space-time, they lurk in the shifting shadows of a twilit room, they leap at you in the moments of concentration lapse. There, for a split second, you find yourself in a rich, hectic, ever-moving world. You glimpse shapes and silhouettes, and you see … Read more

The Turning Point

Imagine a small industrial town far up north, wrapped in the night. A big empty apartment: the parents both at the night shifts, the sister at a party. The only one at home is a boy of eleven, struggling with his homework in the living room. The apartment is still and dark; the only sound … Read more

The Taste of a Word

For little Johnny, every word had its own taste. He loved to sink his teeth into words, savor them, munch on them. He and his mom were often moving from place to place, and she spent hours scrolling through the apartment rental ads. He read the ads too, from behind her shoulder, and even though … Read more