Monthly Archives: March 2017

No. 604

Sophie Fraser was covering the overnight security shift at the library. Although she was making overtime pay, and was now owed a favor by her co-worker, Don, Sophie couldn’t figure out why a library needed security. As such, securing was not her highest priority for the evening. There was a couch in the children’s reading room, and Sophie decided to investigate further.

She woke up 45 minutes later. She swung her leg down onto the floor and almost slipped on a book. She read the title as she picked it up. “The Living Garden”.

Feeling that it belonged a long way from the children’s section, she looked around for its proper place. The Dewey Decimal System proved impenetrable, so Sophie left the book on a cart next to the animal section. She made another cursory loop of the stacks, for security purposes, and, finding nothing suspicious, returned to the couch.

After another brief nap later, she awoke feeling groggy. She sat up and her foot hit something on the floor.

“’The Living Garden’,” she gasped. Sophie reached for her pepper spray and shouted into the cavernous building. “Who’s there?”

There was no reply. Sophie threw the book across the room and curled into a nervous ball on the couch. Don had better not be messing with her. He’d claimed to have concert tickets. “Don, if that’s you, I’m going to stab you,” she yelled.

Then, there was a noise. Sophie couldn’t tell if it was a book hitting the ground, or muffled thunder from outside. It did nothing to improve her mood. “If I can get the check-out desk, there’s an office with a lock,” she told herself. “I’ll just stay there until morning.”

She carefully stepped down off the couch, and slowly crept toward the front of the building, keeping one hand on her pepper spray the entire time. Nothing jumped out at her, and as she approached the sanctuary of the locking office, she recognized that the strange noise had, in fact, been thunder. Still, she took no chances, and locked both the button on the door handle, and the chain at the top.

Breathing hard, Sophie checked her watch. In just over two hours, the librarians would arrive and she could go home. She pulled a rolling chair out from under a desk and sat down, in an attempt to relax. She began to think that perhaps Don owed her more than one favor.

An hour passed without incident. The dark, warm room, and comfortable chair began to have almost the same effect as the couch. Sophie, despite the nerves from earlier, began to grow sleepy. When her chin hit her chest, her eyes snapped wide open, as she fought the sensation. She sat up and yawned. Just as she finished, she noticed that there was something on the previously-clear floor. She leaned forward, afraid of what she knew the object was.

“The Living Garden”.

Sophie screamed and screamed.

No. 603

“I can’t pee here,” whispered Amber.

“Why not?” asked Lynn, who was squatting behind a tree stump.

“There might be a bear watching.” Amber gestured at the surrounding foliage. “You never know.”

“It’s a long way back to the car. Even longer to a toilet,” Lynn cautioned.

Amber shivered. “I just can’t go.”


Becky sighed and stole a glance at her watch. She leaned over the armrest to address her friend, Cindy. “This is the worst play ever,” she said, just loud enough for everyone around her to hear. The lack of “shushes” seemed to confirm that her opinion was a legitimate one.

Becky rolled her eyes. “You’re the one who said we needed more culture. Let me remind you that I suggested we see ‘Terror in the Sky 2’ in IMAX.”

“’Terror in the Sky 1’ wasn’t my favorite,” said Becky.

“I thought the original ‘Terror in the Sky’ was amazing,” said someone from behind them.


“Oh, look, it’s the Pope!” shouted Lynn.


“Oh my gosh.” said Cindy. “This is so bad.”

Becky had already turned around to face the conversation hijacker. ’Terror in the Sky’ is so overrated,” she insisted. “Now everyone is on the Terror-in-the-Sky train. It’s just a knock-off of ‘Deadly Visitors’.”


Tankorp laughed to himself and tapped his ventral tentacle lightly on the containment field separating him from the humans.

“Are they adapting well?” asked Velbu, as he approached his colleague from the Captain’s pod.

“They suspect nothing. The environmental replication filters are working perfectly,” said Tankorp. “With any luck we will have this batch back to Bartron 9 for the opening of the exhibit.”

Velbu leaned closer to the containment field. “That’s good. Very good. Verisimilitude in the behavior of the specimens is of the highest priority to the patrons. Do you have any other concerns?”

Tankorp placed his dorsal tentacle on Velbu’s headfin, a traditional gesture of honesty. “I am worried about the one called Amber. It does not seem able to vent its waste. That could lead to internal complications.”



No. 602

“I’ll do it tomorrow,” said Aurora, fully intending to not do it tomorrow. She slammed her bedroom door, and pulled back the sheet covering an oddly-shaped lump on the floor. Putting her arms carefully through each strap, she lifted a small jetpack onto her back.

She tugged her goggles down and pushed open the window. She was more than halfway out before her mom grabbed her and dragged her back inside.

“Trying to run away, again?” Mom asked. “You won’t get very far with that pack. It’s only got fuel for three minutes. Give it here.”

Aurora sighed and shrugged off her means of escape. The jetpack fell to the ground with a thump. Aurora pushed it toward her mom with her foot. “Fine,” she muttered.

“Now do your homework,” said Mom. “If you apply as much effort as you do into your attempts to skip school, maybe this semester you can get your mark up in Advanced Superheroics.” Mom took the pack and closed the door as she left.

Aurora sat down on the edge of her bed and sprawled across to grab her textbook. “Maybe I’d try harder if we learned about death rays,” she told nobody in particular.