September 2013

  Another award, another amazing set of entries, another tight contest. Congratulations to our comeback kid, Nathan Boole! It’s been a long time between entries for Nathan, but we’re glad he’s back. Special mentions to Lance Cross and Vivek Rathi, who shared a close second, and to Maki Morita and Ian Harrison, who scored top marks from a judge each. Our latest award is up now. Check it out.     

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The security guard lays his left palm on the scanner beside the door. It beeps, the display goes green and the gentlest of clanks is heard. The thick metallic door slides open and he steps through. Lucy walks beside the man down the corridor lined with square panels equally sterile as the dress she is wearing. “Welcome to the Department, Miss Goretti.” Lucy snickers. “Thanks for having me.” The guard chuckles. “We don’t get many new people, especially one as young as you.” “So I should be glad then?” “I suppose it’s a privilege however you look at it, ma’am.” Despite his friendly tone, Lucy sees that his hand is always on his holstered sidearm. They come to another door, this one having two scanners, one on either side. The …

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“Wow Frank, I’ve always wanted to take the plunge but I’ve just been too scared. How are you finding them?” It had been like this all morning. As soon as he walked in the office, people had been clapping him on the back and congratulating him. Wanting to have a look at the new Frank. A few of the older staff members had seemed unsure but then you know how old people are. “Great, great,” Frank responded absently, not entirely sure about how he felt about all the attention. * * * Frank sat down at his desk and Greta, his secretary, came in. She passed him a coffee and sat on the corner of his desk, her long legs crossed and a stiletto hanging off one foot. He’d missed …

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The sea washed me ashore. I wasn’t certain if it was night or the sun was blocked by dark clouds. Since there were no stars in the sky, I assumed it was day, I may have been wrong. I might as well have been dead and floating into dark nothingness. The truth is that I had always hated the shore.  It has never been anything more than a dark and hostile place for me. I had witnessed the horrors that lay on the land, the hot golden red demons which when met the sea boiled our fellow tribesmen.  More out of submission, than fear, I had sworn that I’d never go near the shore.  Why was I here then? Let me start from the beginning.  After fishing for some mollusks, …

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If there was anything that struck Davis about the ticket collector, it was how much he reminded him of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. Maybe it was the way he strutted down the hallway of the train like some leering vulture. Maybe it was the way his bony face burned holes in the walls with his narrow eyes. Or maybe it was the way he demanded attention the moment he stepped into the room. Whatever the cause, the ticket collector owned the train like he owned the clothes on his body, and as he loomed closer and closer Davis shrunk further and further into his seat. The train cackled loudly as it flew over the rails, and a ripple went through the carriages, jostling and bumping latches and bolts. Davis felt pinpricks …

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The day after Harry died, I bought cats. The pet shop lady looked at me like I was deranged. Her name was Martha. ‘You want thirty cats!?’ ‘Yes’ ‘I’m sorry you want T-H-I-R-T-Y as in three times ten cats!?’ ‘Yes’ ‘Are they all for you?’ ‘Yes’ She gave me the once-over. Mid-length brown hair, simple white T-shirt, faded blue jeans – fairly average, not pretty but not ugly and incredibly normal. I wasn’t old. I wasn’t a crazy cat lady. She eyed me suspiciously. ‘Any specific breed?’ ‘Yes’ ‘Which one?’ ‘Siamese’ ‘You want ALL the thirty cats to be Siamese?’ ‘Yes’ Martha was bewildered. Nevertheless, she whipped out a contract, soI scrawled down ‘E. Johnson’. Then she named a price – and without flinching, I flashed out my credit card. …

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I slowly opened my eyes and was immediately blinded by the light. So much light. And not the beautiful, enchanting light of the sun, but rather the depressing light you find in hospitals. “She’s awake,” a masked person stated, leaning over me as her bright blue eyes bore into mine. “Welcome back, Lexie. Your full body alteration has been completed. It went perfectly.” So my name is Lexie. There were two others, a tall man and a shorter bald one, both in masks just like the blue-eyed lady. They propped me up into a seated position, shining flashlights in my eyes and observing my every move. “How are you feeling?” the bald one asked. Before I had a chance to respond, the tall one pushed his finger against my right …

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“You have them?” Alex asked when I arrived home. I nodded, with a slight blush on my face. “Where are they?” I didn’t answer but put my purse on the kitchen table. I lifted the evidence up and saw Alex’s eyes widening. He got that blush on his cheeks I like so much, the blush that he usually had before we ended up in bed. “Let’s try them out, “ he continued. “What, now?” I asked in surprise. “Sure, why not? I would love to try them out.” I took the cuffs out and Alex grabbed my hand and pulled me along. We quickly ascended the stairs and I felt myself getting more and more excited. We were going to do this, my first experience as my husband’s slave, totally …

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A pink-tinted finger-nailed yet extremely hairy hand slid the requested documentation across the table. The guard looked up, squirming a little, as Eddie the Smuggler fluttered his ridiculous eyelashes. Small flecks of mascara remained on Eddie’s upper cheek, and both eye-shadow and lipstick matched the garish fingernails. Unshaven five-o’clock shadow completed the look. Eddie possessed the first face on the ‘watch’ list, distributed every week to the officials. Number one, without a bullet. However, Eddie always returned at the allotted time, never broke curfew and never carried anything on – or in – his person. “Ah, Eddie the Smuggler.” Despite himself, the border guard managed a wry smile. “You’re a glutton for punishment.” “I’m a fast healer, Sergeant Vigo,” shrugged Eddie, tucking his stamped documents back into his over-padded, lacy …

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KAX5423 woke in an alley and immediately went into uncontrollable spasms. His arms thrashed, legs kicked, and teeth gnashed together. It hurt. Your first few minutes in your new human body may be disorienting and uncomfortable. The training manual’s description had been far too vague, he decided. He slowly gained enough control to curl his body into a ball, and he lay like that on the ground for a while, waiting for the shivering to stop. Once the effects of Transference wear off, you will be ready to explore the exciting possibilities of the Human Female body you now control! KAX5423 rolled onto his belly, shoved himself up onto two of his limbs while using the other two for balance. The front limbs weakened and gave out, and he rolled …

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John stuck his head around the office door. ‘Hi. I’m John, the new guy.’ A squat, red faced suit slouched in the middle of the room staring at his phone. ‘I’m Steve. Pleased to meet you,’ said Steve beckoning John in without looking up. Steve offered his hand then crushed John’s fingers when he took it. ‘You must be Marty’s replacement. That’s your work station there.’ He pointed to a spotless desk then took his eyes off his phone to inspect John. ‘Where did Marty go?’ ‘Out of here,’ said Steve tapping his nose. ‘He was a square peg for a round hole.’ ‘I’ve taken the job but the interview panel was a bit short of information and the website doesn’t make much sense so what sort of company are …

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As the sun neared the horizon, more and more folks gathered outside the gates of the town. Soon, the night market would begin, which happened here every no moon’s night, and there would be haggling going all around, fires would be lit, and as the night would escalate, so would the chatter. The market was famous; folks would come here from distant places, a few regulars, and mostly travellers, making purchases for their businesses or selling their goods. A young looking girl with beautiful features looked curiously at all the hustle-bustle. She was dressed in a choli-ghagra and had just bosomed her purse after counting her money, a thousand rupees. She was sharp, not like most folks who ended up wasting their money – buying stuff that they cannot sell …

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It is a truth universally acknowledge that an award of modest fortune must be in need of a winner. Congratulations to: Vannessa Ho! Vannessa’s tale of slavery, brutish imperialism and human mistreatment showed sympathy, attention to detail, and interesting characters and dialogue. Well done Vannessa. It’s great to see hard work paying off. We already have another award up and running, so make sure to check it out on the front page.

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