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Story Excerpts

by William Ledbetter

Illustrated by Eli Bischof

Under normal circumstances, the blank canvas of a freshly painted wall—like the one I faced on Third Street next to the interstate—would invoke both anticipation and a little dread. But tonight, I hadn’t come to share my art, only a small but important message. Tiny drips of water can eventually create an ocean.

I sized up the wall from shadows across the street. Selected not only for its visibility, the wall had symbolic value. Five protestors had been stood against that wall and shot during the first week after the government takeover. The bullet holes and chipped concrete were muted, but still visible under the fresh white paint.  READ MORE


A Long Journey into Light
by Deborah L. Davitt

Twenty years had passed since Ae‘ahauka‘e, the Wanderer, had first entered the Solar System from the top down, passing through the plane of the ecliptic near Uranus. Twenty years since Dominic Vadas, then the furthest human from the rest of humanity, had boarded the extrasolar object, finding that it was not, in fact, a rogue asteroid or chunk of space rock, but some form of alien space craft.

A nervous Earth had watched its silent progress through the outer planets for two decades, wondering if the device was some form of weapon. UNSCA, the U.N. Space Control Agency, had advised caution. “The microbes taken from storage on Ae‘ahauka‘e were all demonstrated to thrive in an anaerobic environment,” scientists asserted repeatedly. “The chances that they would be useful to any civilization on a planet like Earth is extraordinarily unlikely.” READ MORE

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