The Merpod by Bradley Sides

After his insistence in expanding the pod, again, Herman brought Alice over on Saturday night to the abode that he shared with Olga and Elaine. Their home was rather plain—a jaggedly obtuse rock that jutted out of the foamy sea. It was coated in bird dung. Flies buzzed along the surface. There was barely enough room for the four of them. But the sea was roomy. There wasn’t a mermaid or merman alive who could argue that. Plus, it was a warm rock and the perfect spot for dolphin watching. Continue reading The Merpod by Bradley Sides

The Wallpaper by Claire Fitzpatrick

The wallpaper was the colour of filth, of excrement, of something unclean. Despite its inanimateness, it seemed to leap out from the wall, its invisible arms outstretched, fingers uncurled. Once, it was probably an airy and welcoming room. It might have been a nursery. It might have been an office. But the colour had filled the room with an air of ugliness that could not be mollified by the addition of bedside table flowers or lilac curtains. Continue reading The Wallpaper by Claire Fitzpatrick

Gonzales, California by Christopher Seiji Berardino

A crowd of people gathered under the streetlamp on the corner of Alta and 5th. Moths clumsily tumbled under the electric bulb, each struggling to stay above the dust kicked-up by nervous boot heels.
Mike clutched the side of his jacket and held it against his belly. He felt sleepy and sore. His eyes moved sluggishly across the other faces in the crowd.
“Can’t say he didn’t have it coming,” said an old man through frayed beard hairs. Continue reading Gonzales, California by Christopher Seiji Berardino

Compound X by Talia Santopadre

The disease, known as Compound X, started a few months ago and affected my family almost immediately with the loss of my mother. Since the day she got sick, our lone source of income is the money I get from the Coalition, a renegade group of researchers fighting to find a cure. At the time, the only option was to let the disease overtake you, or to take pills to get the job done faster. Continue reading Compound X by Talia Santopadre