Needs, Wants, and Dead Things // Kirk A. Johnson – 3898 words
A sheltered young goatherder is forced to seek out one of the magic users he idolizes when tragedy strikes.
A Brief and Hideous Scrawl // Erin Brown – 6308 words
Grappling with an unbearable boredom, a beastling abandons his city home for fresh surroundings and delightful new prey. Content warning for gore and creature violence.
Liqueur of Memory // Samantha Frye – 6304 words
A struggling writer’s love for an erstwhile sculptor is put to the test when he proposes a troubling new pursuit to rekindle their lost creative muse.
The Pig Pouch and the Biomechanical Heart Engine // Malon Edwards – 6703 words
As the Illinois-Sovereign State War drags on, a technically gifted teen navigates friendship, life and death while her parents — a soldier and a saboteur — are constantly redeployed.
Upside Down Frown // Jarred Thompson – 5021 words
In a world where the Department of Happiness monitors the populace for ideal career placement, a museum curator puts her life and her future on the line with a provocative exhibit.
I failed to talk to Grandma again // Chinedu Gospel
The Deathing Room // Beatrice Winifred Iker