4. Interloper

Dripping wet from the sea, Cassandra walked back up to her hotel room. She’d taken a ground floor suite with French doors leading to the path down to the beach. She was about to open the door to slip inside …

3. St. Augustine

The old bookshop clung to the back of one of historic St. Augustine’s lesser known streets. The aged building had green lattice windows, a cement chimney, and a paneled wood exterior. Robust puffs of hibiscus clambered up the sides. A …

2. Shepard

Cassandra materialized on a busy street. By her reckoning, a few blocks away from the bar where she was to meet Shepard. People kept walking by, as if she hadn’t popped up out of nowhere. She’d seen this happen countless …

Green Day

Debbie Dent wore pastel pink to work on the day the world went straight to hell. That morning she’d come by the coffee shop where I worked, batting her fake eyelashes and humble-bragging about her lavish Bora Bora vacation with …

Skin Dancer

Fiona knocked her glass back, swallowing its smoky contents in a single gulp. She’d gone for the tequila. It was some esoteric moonshiner’s blend with a black baby snake swimming at the bottom. Her eyes watered from the sting of …

Harlequin

A clockwork doll sits atop a wobbly mountain of rubble. He has dry, empty sockets where his eyes should be. His smile is wide and full of teeth. A fat tear hangs in suspended animation, mid-dribble down one dirty cheek. …

Shelter

Twilla’s Beast was hollow-bellied, the lumbering juggernaut a comfy shelter built just for her. Light years away, amid a war waged in space, an enemy warhead had blown a gaping hole into the back of its head, leaving a gnarly …

Tightrope Cat

Masika sat in her apartment, cowed by the gloom and dirty-gray walls. The clock in the kitchen was ticking so loudly it scraped at her nerves. Her fingers itched to rip it right down. Her toes curled into the fabric …

Perish the Thought

“If this boat hits one more swell, I swear I’ll hurl that slop they called breakfast back up on the deck.” Venus, AKA Captain Eyepatch’s, gravelly complaint dragged Terra back to the here and now. “Huh? “This,” Venus waggled her …