Tag Archives: 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.

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The Day the Ocean Died

by Esther Davis

It must be another sign, just as Nana said. First the stars died, blackened and unseen. Then the birds died, their corpses filling the sea shores. The nations died too, somewhere in the mess. Great continents of empty homes covered the world, the elders said. If others besides our fellow islanders survived, we would never know.

Now the ocean had died… Continue reading

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Where the Dead Walk

by Esther Davis

Chunks of scoria cascaded from the rising form. The ground trembled. Mina’s szajo reared, and she flung her arms around one of its curled horns to keep from falling.

“Calm, boy. Calm!” Mina’s lips trembled as she whispered in the ram’s ear.

The szajo didn’t calm. It bayed, a guttural sound that reverberated through Mina’s frame… Continue reading

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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

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Unwelcome Shrink

by Esther Davis

Warren leaned back in the grimy chair, one arm crooked behind his head, the other dangling at his side. He tapped the floor to spin the seat. Bright blue signs with prices for Time Machine repairs hanging behind the counter, the pile of tools and spare parts shoved in corner, the pristine windows that stared at the brick wall next door, all revolved around him.

The door beeped. Warren stopped spinning. Without leaving his seat, he scooted up to the counter and raised the chair back to its normal height before the customer could see.

Dr. Saman entered, scratching his chin through his beard. Warren nodded in greeting. If Dr. Saman smiled Warren couldn’t see it beneath the white bush growing out of his face. Warren found his own beard much nicer. More luscious.

“It broke again?” Warren asked… Continue reading

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Trespassers Beware

by Esther Davis

Kira huffed and let her pink arms dangle over the iron railing like cooked noodles. “When can I have a turn?”

I pressed the binoculars closer, letting them dig into my eyebrows. Rubber bumps rolled along my finger as a twisted the knob between the two scopes. The purple and white fuzz sharpened. A platinum cyborg horse trotting across the Data Ice.

The words escaped with my gasp. “He’s huge.”… Continue reading

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Amethyst to Soothe

by Esther Davis

Amethyst-EstherDavis

“Amethyst” by Esther Davis

Arye withdrew his fingers and hissed. Though the bottle sat undisturbed, angry violet streaks sizzled across the cauldron’s surface like claw marks from a rabid animal. Arye’s fingertips stung. He placed them on his lips, hoping to cool them. The flash still played across his eyes.

Amethyst shouldn’t burn. It healed. It soothed. But never burned… Continue reading

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Born of Flame

by Esther Davis

“Paddle down the creek,” the Phoenix Spirit said, “until the cherry grove mists over, and the waterfall’s tumbling deafens your mind.”

For forty-nine years Feng paid his dues in the Land of Spirits. Now came his second chance.

Jade and opal carpeted the creek bed. Only the occasional stir from Feng’s paddle reminded him that water, not air, separated his sampan from the gemstones. Pink cherry blossoms lined the shore.

Feng let his eyes feast on his surroundings one last time—the green carpeting, the double suns shining above, the creatures and spirits eying the curious traveler. He imagined returning from his mortal voyage, this time entering the Land of Spirits with a clean conscious.

He mustn’t fail… Continue reading

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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

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Rose of Darkness

by Esther Davis

Water stains and rips decorated the package cupped in her hand. A dirty string held the parchment wrapping together. No address or name, to or from. The mail dragon didn’t need words.

Neither did Emma.

Only one man would seek out the mail dragon to find Emma, hiding in the city of Trygghet.Only one man could have sent it.

Or his enemies… Continue reading

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