This is the story of Bean Boy, and of how his parents, wishing him dead, came to try to squash him like a bug using an iron teakettle.
IF THE MOON LANDING HAD FAILED by Jason Peck
Overhead, the warning lights in the lunar module blink to amber. Their remaining oxygen is measured in minutes.
Buzz Aldrin scans Neil Armstrong’s face for panic, finds nothing. No wonder they picked him to step out first, Buzz thinks. I’ve got sixty-six combat missions, a doctorate in astronautics, and they end up picking Neil because they want a Lindberg type.
MICHAEL by C. N. Perry
His eyes open from a sleep that hadn’t gifted any rest, the words still crawling at the bottom his brain like that thread of information one sees crawling at the bottom of a news broadcast.
He doesn’t move.
A fly crawls across the ceiling; he tracks it with his eyes until the alarm sounds from the nightstand.
He slaps it silent without looking.
He’d been watching the fly for over an hour.
WRITTEN IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING EXECUTION by Samuel Barnhart
I, former Pilot Astral-Class 2 Deshana Renecki, ungraciously denied the opportunity to address the audience who will watch me die, resort to this outdated form of communication, hoping someone will eventually discover it. I owe everybody an explanation, even if they don’t want one.
VIOLET by C. N. Perry
There wasn’t pain.
There wasn’t anything of the sort.
Violet placed the receiver next to the phone while pouring a drink into a glass.
She didn’t hang up.
A voice came from it asking if she were still there.
TO LAUGH AT A HURRICANE by Nick Shaffer
“It’s just a mess.”
She had her arms crossed and her back arched, her shoulders and head sort of extending out over the rest of her body, like she was constantly trying to get a closer look at something.
“But I guess it could be worse, you know. We could live on the Point.”