Bait

The air smells like rotting fish and dead men saturated with too much grog. The clamor is squealing seagulls and wood banging on wood, the scrap of rusting metal and sailors. So many salty blokes singing and yelling and fighting and walking with their bow-legged strut like the earth was heaving underneath them. Christian is happy for …

The Witch

In the early weeks of April, Mary Trembles walks a muddy path. Each step punctuated with her cane placed gingerly on the wet ground. A cane as crooked as her back. Her steps are dainty on leather-wrapped, wooden-soled shoes.   She wears a black wool dress and a shawl over her wispy white hair. She …

Guerro

The hostage feels the chimp's malignant glare like knives through the skull. Hairless the ape is a shiny odd blackish-red color. "Guerro has alopecia.’ The junker says offering the primate a cigarette. ‘He'd love you forever if you got a light." The ape hangs the smoke between his pink lips and leans forward muscles bunching …

Tiger Lilly

Drone T1-6 (1 of 6) hovers, one time compliant. Its pilot, light years from Kepler 1b stationed at Houston Lunar Base Earth or Schiaparelli crater on Mars, is probably mashing their fire button at this very moment, hoping to kill the Earth Terrorist known as the Alnamar Laylaa. The terrorist stands on the lip of …

Lichen

The Sun crests with a blazing blast of yellow light just as one of the grey ramshackle dwellings sitting on the lip of the rocky cliff gives up in its fight with gravity and shifts with a crack of dry alpine wood. The unexpected screams of terror of those inside, echo against the wet granite …

Machine before Man

They announce imminent death. The choices are: pray or fix it. John Boon decides on the second option and a third. “The fuck’d this gas giant come from?” he screams at Houston, Lunar-base-Earth. “Sorry, Johnny, bad math.” He cocks his fist but refrains from hitting his instruments. Boon knows the voice isn't human. It's the …

Go Back

The room is padded, grey and locked from the outside. It smells like rat droppings and moldy old sweat, piss and shit stains smear the walls. It echoes with the screams of the crazy, the damned, people not like Samantha. Because to her, this is happening, this is reality. “I’m not crazy Doctor!” and she …

Fight Night

Loud bass echoes. A fight breaks out in the back. The impromptu violence competes with the music in the lowest level of the condemned multi structure garage. The situation gets dangerous fast and a gun goes off. Following the shot, a shrill cry of "No, no, not Morris, no," bounces off the cold, wet cement …

Okaadiginebig

    Tawa is a white-hot yellow dot beating the desert with a fury akin to hate. His existence is effort. His every day is another attempt to cook the great desert to a crisp. Maybe today he will succeed. His achievement is waves of heat that bake the valley’s loose grey rock. The desert …

Vertigo

Hot wind blows against Talia's naked back, while strands of stiff twisted hemp bite into her bare desert-hardened feet. The rope sways as if it conspires with her torturers, seeking only a halfway attempt, a humiliating somersault. A header straight to death. The weight of the pole is new to her shoulders and arms. They …

Sacrificial

With a stiff puff from her chapped lips she blows the hair out of her face before answering, "does it matter where the meat comes from?" Her dark brown eyes glisten with sadness, but behind a hard edge. An edge that could cut. An edge, he decides, filled with anger and maybe a bit of …

Legion

A cold grey mist slathers itself across the sky. The air is wet. Wool uniforms are wet. Feet are numb and wet. Skin puckers cold and thin. Fingers overly sensitive, every bramble, every hard tap feels like an injury. There is the smell of burning diesel on the wind and an orange glow on the …

A Marine

  He enlisted in the marines on the ninth of December 1941, two days after Pearl Harbor, while still drunk. His buddy Carl was so blasted the recruiter made him wait a day before joining up saying "This boy's just too primed." Peter McGrew joined the Marines not because they were the best, because they …

Medusa

This tale begins with a war between the God Poseidon and the Goddess Athena. They fought for the land of Athens. A beautiful place on the Myrtoan Sea. Their bloody war was almost endless. They threw their worshipers against each other until the sea was red from blood. They killed off so many people that …

The Amberg

In 1944 the Polish resistance has been crushed. Half a million of Warsaw’s citizens are dead rotting in destroyed building or in plain sight on the street. The survivors of what was once a vibrant cityscape scurry about like vermin in a living nightmare. They look for any way to survive, but know death is …

Deadwood

It smells like melting tar and burning wood, unwashed men, rotting teeth and freshly turned dirt, old whiskey, sick, piss and shit. Its pungent and raw. The road here was so empty and peaceful, but with the hush of hidden death hiding just below the green leafy canopy of forest and hills. Now death is …

The Injured Rest in Death

Smoke and clamor of battle surround. With a trembling hand, Talia wipes sooty sweat from her brow. This small moment earns her a slicing blow across the shoulders from the Underguard's whip, "Move, you beast!" She does. With a groan, she lifts another pitch impregnated iron ball onto the trebuchet. No sooner does she release …

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Mirage 14 J.K. Rowling w/ Ryder Hunte Clancy

J.K. Rowling is a British novelist and screenwriter who is best known for writing the Harry Potter fantasy series *** Ryder Hunte Clancy graduated with a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Brigham Young University vowingd she'd never write another research or comparative analysis paper again - She was done. Now she's a stay-at-home mother scribbling notes between diaper changes or racking up the …

#70 Brent Harris

**Some Audio Issues** Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for updates on my other show Mirage: Speculating on Speculative Fiction. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbSnMk6QPiULXmKDYmwCmIg Subscribe on itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/origin-stories-on-creativity/id1247194933?mt=2 Subscribe on stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/bryan-aiello/origins-stories-on-creativity?refid=stpr *** Brent A Harris is a Sidewise Award-nominated author of alternate history. He also writes science fiction, horror, and fantasy. Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Brent-A-Harris/e/B01L0I22OM/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_11 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brent.a.harris Twitter: …

Powerful Lad

"As an elemental, you bend nature to your will," the old-man lectures, pacing and tugging on his long grey beard. "Like this Papi?" the child asks holding up his hand. The old man turns and gawks at the twisting vortex of wind and lightning raging there. "Yes, Gregory," he stammers, that's exactly right.