Tag Archives: short story

The Baboons of Mars

by Esther Davis

No one ever wanted to play catch on Mars.

Nine-year-old Jasper trudged across the red sandscape, grumbling under his breath about boring adults and stupid baby sisters. Dad promised a game of catch. Why’d the colony’s generators have to break down today?

Katy couldn’t play, ‘cause she wasn’t even a year old. Nibbles the Hamster couldn’t play, because he got loose and chewed through the generator’s main electrical wire. Dad said they could cremate the hamster tomorrow, after he fixed the colony’s power supply.

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Sketch

Servant of the Tiger

by Esther Davis

“Can I see your scar?”

Makoto’s slender fingers brushed his palm. Outwardly, Ichirou remained calm, gaze still fixed on the white and orange coy fish drifting in the shallow pond below. But Ichirou’s breath caught in his throat. Electricity built on the flesh of his excited heart. This energy could’ve cast a dangerous spell in battle.

Ichirou turned to face her while his free hand fell in his pocket. His fingers grasped the cold ring hidden inside. “I call it a scar, but it’s a bit more than that.” Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Sketch

B-4

by Esther Davis

B-4

The vending machine whined. Dr. Jordynn Chambers snatched the deposited vial from the rusting slot and held it up to eye level. Silky white strands floated in the ethanol. DNA.

Stickers had once labeled the machine, but they faded away long ago. The genetic code could be from any plant. Or animal or bacterium for that matter. Honestly, Jordynn was shocked that the machine even ran. It was old enough to take physical quarters, and Jordynn was old enough to still carry them. She wondered if any of the other professors knew this rusted hunk still existed. Doubtful. The storage room held centuries of discarded—excuse her, archived—student projects. They’d probably hidden her thesis design  down here too, where gathered dust for the past sixty-three years… Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Short Story

Summoners

by Esther Davis

“Go ahead. Flood the whole city over your petty grudge. You’re the Lady Monte, after all.” How Heather itched to spit that into Her Royal Plumpness’s face. Or maybe just glare. Glaring worked.

Heather handed the unconscious child to her nephew then splashed down the roadside to the next victim. She weaved through the scattered furniture and scanned the flooded street for any people they might have missed. Her knee-high boots should’ve kept the water out, but the moisture still managed to find crevices to seep though, sloshing between Heather’s toes and making them even prunier.

An Aqua Hound stood on the flood’s surface, sniffing at the hair plastered to a servant’s face. Heather squinted at the hound. All the other water Elementals had Melted. Was Lady Monte still around, or did her spell just need a few more minutes to wear off?

Heather fished a pebble from the flooded street and chucked it at the hound. The stone passed through its midsection. A few drops fell from the aqueous body, but most of the liquid kept its shape. The hound glanced up and barked—a bark that sounded more like a crashing waterfall. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Short Story

When The Gardener Sings

by Esther Davis

I taste the world. Bitter chemicals my neighbors sweat. The sweet nutrients my buried tendrils grasp. Refreshing water drawn through my roots. I feel the breeze ruffling my petals, the rain as it runs down my stem. I sense the sunlight tickling my leaves. Sense, but not see. I only see when the gardener sings.

His shadow interrupts the sunlight’s tickling, and cool liquid embraces my roots. It comes first as a low hum that vibrates my fibers. Then the hum becomes more.

I hear through the gardener’s ears and see through his eyes. A bed of swaying tulips rained on by a can, and a song. A song full of memories. Old. Ancient. He doesn’t know where the song began, only that his great-grandmother learned it from hers… Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Sketch

Don’t Forget to Feed the Computers

by Esther Davis

“Don’t forget to feed the computers.”

Dr. Whitmore pitched another fork of hay over Chicago’s iron fence. The elephant pinched the yellowed straw with his trunk and shoved it into his disproportionately tiny mouth. On paper, Chicago counted as another of Dr. Whitmore’s experimental specimen. The only real experiment was seeing how long he could get away with keeping a pet elephant.

“Could you feed them, Honey?” Dr. Whitmore asked. “I’ve got to finish another research proposal. Funding doesn’t grow on trees.”

Mrs. Whitmore crinkled her pudgy nose. “Have I ever offered to touch that sludge? You feed them.” … Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Sketch

Scars

Cheetah by Mohammad Attaran

“Mech Cheetah” by Mohammad Attaran

by Esther Davis

Every scar tells a story.

Dark webbing still marks my shoulder from the day that bullets separated my squad from our company. The bleeding would’ve killed me if my comrades hadn’t bandaged it. But isolated from medical equipment, we couldn’t stop the scarring.

After days of wandering the Amazon I tripped, leaving a white slice across my stomach. A dumb wound. Not from a heroic battle with enemy soldiers or fleeing some hungry beast. I just got tired, so I fell.

Then came the jagged blossom encasing my thigh. Forever an vengeful red, as if still burning after all these years.

Some stories I’d rather forget.

Read the rest on T. Gene Davis’s Speculative Blog →

NOTES…

First, a big thank you to Mohammad Attaran for another fantastic piece of artwork! Make sure to check out his website.

This month’s sketch turn into a full-blown story, as you can see. I originally meant it to be only 300 words. But sometimes stories have a mind of their own.

It’s official: I’ll be posting monthly stories! If you want an email reminder whenever I post a new story, subscribe in the upper right-hand corner (or bottom of the page for you mobile readers). Or you can follow me on Twitter @EstherDDavis.

1 Comment

Filed under Short Story