Alina likes psychological thrillers that happen up there, on the orbit. She lives in South California, loves to read and prefers writing in third limited.
The Plights of the Agriculture Integrity Department
Bluebell trots between two waves of travelers who roll like caterpillars toward customs check. Our vests are green with black, but she wears a blue one, with Agriculture Integrity Dept stitched in gold. I grab her by the collar. Bluebell is petite, with short hair colored in tranquil shades of chocolat noir and cafe latte, but now she pulls with the force of a small tractor at harvest time. It’s noon, and I haven’t fed her yet. Who’s better at sniffing artisan blood sausage than a trained beagle? A hungry trained beagle.
My tank of joy and discontent
Today is difficult. I’ve already spent half a day in the lab, lying on the surgical tray. The spectacled man keeps showing me white scribbles on his thin, black glass wall. I have seen similar signs before. On kids who press their noses and tongues against my aquarium wall. They wear clothes and caps scribbled like that. Tiny pebbles clumped together, aligned in rows that remind me of the sand ripples carved by the undertow in the seabed.
- Runner-Up in Christopher Paolini's Fantasy Fiction Challenge
Elegy for EudoxiaRunner-Up in Christopher Paolini's Fantasy Fiction Challenge
The forest shuddered. At dawn, black starlings gushed from their nests by the thousands. They dashed over Lake Orlén in ample arabesques, twisted and spun. They swooped from the heights, whirled above giant boulders sprayed with tar darker than their wings, then folded in two waves. When the first glint of light fired up the sky, the two-pronged murmuration of starlings plunged into the clear blue waters.
Teal is the treason
Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. And I can tell you they’re right. I don’t hear one decibel from Jenzy, not one sigh, after I puncture the left elbow of his space suit with a pencil-sized laser. He sways slowly left and right, and with his luminescent helmet, all tangled in cables, poor Jenzy looks like one of those long-horned summer stag beetles, struggling for footing when turned on their back. He stops trembling in a few seconds but I know he isn’t dead yet, he wouldn't be until all his body fluids boil and hiss their way out of ruptured tissues.