“Name and clearance?” the security officer said, eyes glued to his screen.

“Roland Hurst, Math Tech Level 3,” Roland answered, swiping his badge into the scanner.

It beeped pleasantly and the light above the door turned green. Roland went in and descended on a small lift. Around him, tall, steel walls rose a dozen stories straight up.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

He was deep in the bowels of the public goods manufacturing house, and the only sounds that penetrated this deep were the machinations of distant robots whirring and clicking and bolting and pinning everything together. Really… everything.

Sprockets, Matchbox cars, thermoses, handy-dandy-notebooks, wide…


The white hull of the Bullmoose reflected the orange light of a nearby star as it hurtled through space. The ship was shaped like a hammer, with a large, sweeping prow and thin cylindrical body. The star, Delta Piscium, burned with a coppery luster, and its planets circled slowly- much slower than the Sol system. DP-C, the second planet in the system, took just over two hundred and forty-six Earth years to orbit its home star. Thick white clouds covered the planet. It looked like a pearl illuminated by the light of a candle. …


August 15th, Nine Thirty-Two PM, Eastern Standard Time

“She forgot the eggs… again,” Jonathan Garland stood next to the refrigerator and looked in on its cold pale shelves. An empty carton of eggs sat jauntily on top of some Tupperware. Sure he could have cereal for breakfast, but it wouldn’t fill him up. He’d be hungry again by eleven.

He looked across the hallway to the bedroom door which was slightly ajar. Darkness peeked through. Katie still wasn’t awake.

“Chap! Do we have any eggs in the garage?” Jonathan asked the lifeless living room. There was an opening from the…


Simon woke up to the sound of the roof-guns spooling up.

Whhhrrrrrr POP POP POP!

Then they were silent again. He groaned, rolled over in his bed, and tapped the computer interface.

Photo by Anthony Rosset on Unsplash

“Anatale, roof cam.”

The computer screen glowed so brightly he thought his eyes were going to melt.

“Brightness down! Dammit.”

The screen obeyed and he could just squint enough to see the view of the roof.

Grey cement stretched in a circle around the roof cam. He panned left, and left, and left, there! A fox corpse sat just at the edge of the roof. How did it…


“How could a rubber duck possibly cost five hundred drops of blood?”

Photo by Timothy Dykes on Unsplash

Ethan picked up the small yellow animal and turned it over to double-check the number. Yep, the tag said five hundred.

He shook his head, put it back, and continued shopping.

The supermarket shelves were stocked as full as the store was with shoppers. It was a Thursday afternoon- inventory day.

Any conscientious shopper knew to come on Thursday afternoon so they could find the products worth the fewest drops. Ethan was among them, and he pushed his cart with a purpose to each item on his list.


Photo by Arto Marttinen on Unsplash

“I don’t think you should take the money. He’s using it as a diversion. You want the house? Take the house.”

Gale mulled over the advice Lian was giving her.

“Lian, it’s a lot of money.”

“Yes, and it’s a big house, Gale. You’ve built memories there, your kids will want to raise their kids with grandma in her home, not with grandad in his condo.”

Talking about Craig like this was still so painful. She pressed the phone to her chest and thought about what to say next.

“Gale, are you there? I need to file this paperwork by…


For Snowy_Ocelot

What are those two doing?

Goby is twitching about again, his big eyes popping left and right with his little head. Shrimp is under him, furiously kicking out sand. They shouldn’t be working right now. It’s evening, and Cuttle and Eel will be out soon. I can see the last rays of light filtering through the blue-white waves above.

Photo by Marek Okon on Unsplash

Fools.

I don’t think it’s wise, sharing your hole like that. My hole is my own and I will share it with no one. Mother taught me it’s dangerous to trust strangers in the reef.

“You are a clever…


Photo by David von Diemar on Unsplash

“You asked me here, on a Saturday, with almost no warning, and can’t even pay me, so can you let me do my job so I can get back to my son’s birthday party?” Erica asked as she dodged yet another police officer blocking her view of the scene.

“Let her through!” Seargent Dillard said and tipped his cap back with a casual “hello”.

He wiped his brow with the back of his blue jacket sleeve and motioned at the scene. Around him, two rookies, a hostess, and an EMT avoided Erica’s attention. Erica, meanwhile, was glaring at Dillard.

“Erica…


Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

Okay Officer, I’m gonna tell it to you straight. Yes, I was with Kinsey, yesterday, on a date. Alright? It started like this.

“Are you on PrintMe?” she asked.

I didn’t answer right away. I swear her smile twisted my gut like a Twizzler. I took a big swig from my glass of RiteWater and looked at the pigeons on the empty table next to us on the veranda.

The restaurant was nice. The windows were frosted for privacy, the menus were paper and the WiFi was strong. Some low booths separated the few afternoon patrons on the inside, allowing…


The internet is addicted to “good quotes”.

Photo by Mert Talay on Unsplash

Even Medium Magazine itself is rife with inspirational articles touting the value of out-of-context truisms. Many of these articles will claim your “life will change” if you read these quotes. Articles like this one by Ryan Holiday are literally just a list of quotes with no other context, comment, or original content. He claims in the title that these quotes will help you “turn any problem into something great”. At the time of this writing, that article has over twelve thousand claps. That is twelve thousand claps for a list of quotes with…

Luke Orlando

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer, English Teacher, Gamer, Nerd.

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