In the delivery room, the OBGYN and nurse stand with their backs to the priest. They both feel the way Subject M looks: sweating and writhing in pain.

“There could be hell to pay if — “ starts the male nurse,

“Please, no puns,” begs the female OBGYN.

The signs were there, enough for the Pope to have sent a coworker. Virgin birth (medically confirmed), a coinciding earthquake, the wildlife.

Unfortunately the wildlife tended to be on the mangey side. That, and Subject M’s reluctance to carry to term lent the holy order unholy concerns.

It’s a breach, but there…

In a corner of Patrick’s mind, Jamie’s always leaving. The sudden computer error black screen kind of leaving. Not the cute “We’ll always have Paris” brand, even if Jamie does occasionally go to Paris in real life.

Patrick mostly doesn’t acknowledge that this corner exists. He’d rather get on with his life, keep that bit compartmentalized along with most things Jamie-related. It works for him. Patrick is good at organizing. He knows where everything is in his apartment, including the utterly ephemeral like loose buttons and samples of tea leaves that inspired in store but were too exotic for a…

According to the slip mailed to Paloma from the Onondaga County sheriff’s office, it takes ten days for a body to transform if the corpse is left alone. Researchers can’t predict what animal it will transform into, only that the change will suit the given environment.

Paloma, dressed in funeral black, stared into Skaneateles Lake and found herself wondering about her brother. He was in there. A fisherman had seen the lights that the slip had linked to transformation. They’d found his car, a note, all the items that led to the obvious conclusion. So then was he a fish…

Standing at the top of the stairs to the Hall of Ocean Life, Casey was struck by a cacophony. Recorded voices overlapped, a chorus of information leaving the gaping mouths of the manmade sea creatures spread throughout the exhibit. Most noticeable was the blue whale, greeting visitors in a deep female voice — mouth moving via digital projection, of course. The museum’s board had scoffed at animatronics.

“Welcome,” said the whale, “explore the wonders of the deep sea.”

Children and adults swarmed both floors of the hall, lights dyeing them blue as they moved from one species to another. Casey…

A tale of immigration, transformation, and exasperation (with lines).

So you’ve got yourself an underdog story — say, David and Goliath, to name a popular one. People can’t get enough of that stuff, right? There’s nothing more satisfying than the defeat of the seemingly-unbeatable. All you need is a good arm and a rock and you’ve leveled the odds.

Granted, we like to ignore the part where David turns into a bit of a bully and carries a decapitated head all the way to Jerusalem under Middle Eastern sun and heat (like, who does that?). We focus on the victory. What a rush, straight to the veins. And some…

Welcome to YourSelf. You are invited to speak with YourSelf, argue with YourSelf, even compliment YourSelf.

Ask YourSelf the most profound, impactful questions and be answered with Truth. Alternatively, choose Lie*.

Remember, you will be with YourSelf completely by yourself. However, we will be watching.

We ask that you refrain from handling YourSelf as we prefer SelfMolds to remain in stellar condition. SelfMolds are costly and require maintenance. Please value YourSelf as much as we do.

If you wish to augment YourSelf, there is a fee.

*For Lie, there is an added fee.

The words were posted at the pristine…

I think maybe if it hadn’t been for the curse, Thomas’d be less lonely. Maybe he’d have found himself a girl bookworm to settle down with, and they’d read all their livelong days, occasionally glancing at each other in acknowledgment of the other’s existence. I might be fooling myself, though.

To be honest I’m not even sure how we’re friends. It’s kind of like when you meet someone and three hours later you realize you never asked their name. So you just don’t bother with it. I just go along with Thomas’ shit, really, that’s all there is to it…

He enters his vessel with swagger, paying no heed to the warnings of his crew.

The doors would have to wait for him before closing. This captain will not be rushed.

He teeters from the bow to a seat by the stern; mangy hair, grey as manhole smoke, trails down his back to blanket a ratty t-shirt with more holes than cloth. Mighty pirates do not concern themselves with propriety of attire — this was part of the draw of lawless living.

The captain takes powerful strides with his left leg, stepping lightly on the right.

People try not to…

They could remember it well, the time before — when They only had each other for company, which was hardly company at all — and the time after the man and woman came.

Soon after arriving, they’d set up their cacophonous camp. One man and one woman making so much sound in the silence. They reveled in the change, even when more and more strange objects piled on top of the lush green, smothering it. They recognized nothing except the enormous panels of glass. Glass, They knew. Glass was home.

Man and woman worked each day, mostly without exchanging words…

Lianne Rose

Magical realism/fiction writer. A fortune teller said she’d never be able to do what she loves for a living, so she’s been trying to prove that b**** wrong.

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