We here at the Lounge hope that you and your traveling companions are staying as safe as you can for the duration of this pandemic. Whether you’re stuck indoors for the foreseeable future, or whether you’re searching for something to take your mind off the state of the world for a while, we have a little something that will pique your interest.
Category: issue 3
Weaving in the Bamboo, by Eliza Chan
Summer is when we spend our days in the flooded rice fields, the fish tickling our ankles. Hours of planting stretching out like a bamboo stem in the wind. But there were never snakes before.
The Cat Lady and the Petitioner, by Jennifer Hudak
Laurie stands in front of a door. It’s old but solid, as many old things are. Whatever paint once covered it has long since worn away, and the wood beneath is striped, and furred with splinters. It is her very first door, of her very first day, of her very first job.
Seven Parts Full, by Anya Ow
Seok Kim cursed the mountain as she walked. The mouse deer that ducked away from her stumbling gait wasn’t spared her wrath. As she loudly wished for a thousand fleas to infest its white-striped throat, someone stifled a laugh.
Acquisition: Earth, by Steven Berger
Hon. Sciorek, I am sorry again for what happened during my last assignment. Yurfiga was a challenging planet to integrate into Quarrex’s operations, and I would have liked to oversee the mass cleanup efforts myself. However, I understand you need me on Earth, and I promise to send regular reports.
Everybody’s Got a Hungry Heart, by Louis Evans
Agent Heartbreak and the Misery Muse meet cute on a lonely-hearts cruise.
Hatchi, by Andrew K Hoe
Hatchi the *****-P****** emerges from a small wormhole—a shoebox-sized dimpling of space that vanishes once he waddles through—and steps onto a hill composed entirely of starlight.
Beloved and Deserted, by Nicole Tan
Mynah found Lei in an isolated clot of an estuary town, in a valley mostly sheltered from the acrid squalls of the cursewinds. Nearly a year of searching and there they were at last: sitting on an upturned crate at the end of a jetty. A lone sampan bobbed in the water, among the bristling mats of hyacinth and drifting rubbish.
5:37, by A.P. Howell
Bay Min-chul’s final film, Rain and Starshine, remains not merely incomplete, but lost. All footage was allegedly destroyed. The production company claimed that action was intended to honor the dead; a more cynical reading suggests a public relations campaign.
The Swarm of Giant Gnats I Sent After Kent, My Assistant Manager, by Marissa Lingen
You want to be careful when using curses and general ill-wishing spells against people in a workplace environment, because of HR. HR is never there when someone has his hand on your ass when you're stocking shelves, Kent, they think it's a he-said-she-said when someone talks about how your tits will help with your promotion, Kent, but the minute you send a two-headed razor-hoofed demon goat after someone, you've got an appointment with HR and you're the problem somehow.