First thing you ought to know is just because the Army says my brother is dead doesn’t mean he is. I’m counting on them being right about the gravesite and the body being intact-ish. Otherwise, Casey could be slowly suffocating in an entirely different cemetery. Maybe even buried back in Afghanistan. In which case my cousin Versal and I will be desecrating graves for nothing.
Category: issue 2
Chroma Charm, by Diane Callahan
The package promised “a different you in five shades!” Candice had bought it on a stupid whim. A month ago, she would’ve been more likely to wear clown makeup than lip gloss. But to win Audrey’s heart, she’d convinced herself she needed a perfectly painted smile.
Mylène, by Anna Fagundes Martino
This is what happens when you have pirates in the family: you end up inheriting all kinds of junk when they die.
Calling on Behalf of the Dark Lord, by Catherine George
It’s only part-time—you can always quit if you don’t like it. That’s what you told yourself when you were hired, and that’s what you tell your friends, too, when you meet down at the pub to buy them all drinks, for once, because apparently the Dark Lord pays on time and by direct deposit. Which, honestly, is more than you can say for your last couple jobs.
Kiki Hernández Beats the Devil, by Samantha Mills
Kiki Hernández, rock legend of the Southwest, had seven devils on her tail.
The Little Chouxmaker and the Elvis, by Mike Reeves-McMillan
The wedding chapel had a neon sign outside and a slot machine in the foyer. I'd been in Las Vegas too long. This setup didn't even rate an eyeroll.
Squeezing and Entering, by Noe Bartmess
Caesar parked his AquariCart™ behind the strip mall after hours, in among the recycling bins. His eight arms conferred, then cooperated to crawl him out of the cart’s water bowl. His most inquisitive arm retrieved a screwdriver from the tool compartment, and he climbed to the nearest ventilation shaft.
Dance for Your Daughters, by Lulu Kadhim
In the morning, I find my daughter gone. She is my hundred-and-second daughter, but my heart aches all the same. The fire has died out in my pit, the hut filled with the smoke of yesterday’s warmth, cloying and pungent. I pull back the ragged curtains and see her in the mud, a mess of wings and threads of silks that have not yet dissolved.
One Last Stand for the Cold Blooded Chaos Society, by Megan Lee Beals
Hope Towers, the first and only child born to the greatest super-hero team on the planet, was recording an album. She’d been raised by the heroes who pushed Abaddon the Destroyer into the void between worlds; the heroes who could stop hurricanes from turning, and who could defeat monsters the size of mountains. She was, from the moment of her birth, the most famous person in the entire world. And she asked tiny EachPeach Studios to record her first album.
Fresh from the Oven, by M.A. Florin
It wasn’t simple misfortune that the thirteenth daughter in the line came to be called Gretel.