Author Catherine Russell shares her life with her high school sweetheart, their son, and two ferocious puppies in the Wilds of Ohio while writing short stories, editing her novel, and learning more about the craft every day. Her work has been published in Flash Me magazine, Metro Fiction, Beyond Centauri, and the ‘Best of Friday Flash – Volume One‘ and the ‘Best of Friday Flash – Volume Two‘ anthologies.
The implant's biggest drawbacks were the headaches. The gear-man had assured her that would abate in time, but meanwhile she was dying for an injection, or even a good, old-fashioned aspirin. Too bad the chemicals would interfere with the implant's bonding process.
Text passed before her eyes, the latest news, the day's top story, ads for sexual aids and fast food joints. She blinked, but the visuals refused to recede into the background of her consciousness. Could she really take another day of non-stop sensory stimulation before she could control her access?
Resigned to stay plugged in, she laid back...
Leaving was the easiest decision to make, and the hardest action to take. He fingered the photograph of his wife and daughter, remembering the last time he'd held them in his arms, crying as the rain washed away his tears. He remembered the wailing sirens, the questions, the looks on people's faces - faces filled with a mixture of sadness, suspicion, and contempt.
He thought about the judge, the look on condemnation as he sentenced him, as though the loss of his family wasn't punishment enough. He visualized walking past the liquor store, his steps heavier as he forced himself...
Maurice looked at the empty mailbox and sighed.
His pension was supposed to be delivered today; first of the month, just like always, but instead the inside of the cold metal tube held only a few bills and a postcard advertising the latest whatever that he didn't need. What he needed was his damn pension.
He took a deep breath and took several careful steps back up his driveway to his front door. He checked around the bushes, painfully walked the outer perimeter of the house, even checked the cat flap, but no pension.
Son of a bitch, those damn...
Jane made a desperate grab for the coin, spinning in the air. With a flip, Safura had set her fate in motion. Heads, eternal life; tails, never-ending darkness.
She had to catch the silver disk before it landed on the platform.
Panic filled her like water in a vase, her fear overflowing and spilling onto the pavement, evaporating almost instantly in the heat of the noonday sun. "Gods DAMMIT!" she cried, tripping and falling toward the still turning disk. Her fingers grazed the silver, and it landed, still spinning lazily, on its edge.
"You lose," stated Safura. His mouth turned...
"I don't care if I get wet!"
Eric snatched at her hand, but Angel quickly pulled away. She let her hand extend beyond the umbrella's translucent canopy, its special shielding against radiation and chemical contaminants having been turned off despite Eric's warnings.
"You can't do that!" he cried.
"Why not?" she said. "It's been years since the fallout. Why use this stupid shield anyway? What difference does it make if things APPEAR normal?"
Tears streaked her lover's face, but he said nothing.
Disgusted with the futility of it all, she hit another button on the handle and turned off his...
Water, water, everywhere...
Betty woke up on the cracked desert ground, lips parted, straining to take in every bit of moisture from the air. Her tongue clung to the roof of her mouth, coated with she knew not what.
Her dream had held water, more than she could imagine. She'd sailed on blue waves, dived in billowing surf, lain on her back and watched the pillowy clouds float on currents of air through azure skies.
Yet all the boards did shrink...
Her feet had burned from the heat of the wooden planks keeping her small skiff together. The ocean itself...
The raven sat and contemplated the traveler beneath the moon's harsh gaze. She struggled onwards, leaning heavily on her cane, cloak pulled tight against the bitter cold. Any moment now, she would look up and see her fate sillouetted against the silvery orb.
Just then, a cloud passed between them. The sudden shadow caused her gaze to flit skyward, but all she saw were cotton clouds outlined by silver light. The harbinger of death waited for her to notice him, but once again her eyes looked earthward, focused on the path before her, now brightly illumined by the heavenly bodies....
Penelope loved the fountain, loved the way the water sprayed, cooling her in the hot sun, making her clothes cling as she called her joy to the heavens.
"What are you doing?" asked the man in the blue uniform.
Some sort of park official, thought the girl. "Nothing. Just enjoying the water."
"This isn't a waterpark, you know," said the man, a note of disapproval hanging from his lips like a dangling cigar, ready to drop and burn.
"So?" she asked. She kicked up a fine spray as her feet pattered against the thin layer that had built up over...
In 1921, he flew from the Great Rift Valley, along the trails left by the ancient Martians, to find the Temple of the Sun. It was buried, like so much else on Mars, in red sands over the course of millennia, but that meant nothing when you had a native to escort you to their ancestral home.
"So, how can we breathe here?" Pete asked the small, silver creature before him.
It sat in the biplane, strapped in, looking ridiculously small in the pilot's seat. "Air bubble," it replied, fiddling with the dials.
Pete had never flown in a biplane...
That damn tree was going to fall on him, he just knew it.
What use was the open sky, the billowing waves of blue, or the sunlight streaking through the clouds to illuminate his path along the sandy shore, when as soon as he walked beneath that leaning palm, it would crash upon him like the hammer of fate.
Perhaps he would stay where he was. The water was cool, the breeze refreshing. If he traced his steps back, he might rediscover that berry bush and fill his belly with its sweet fruit.
But what was life without a little...