Excerpt for The Future is Short: Science Fiction in a Flash, Volume 4 by , available in its entirety at Smashwords



The Future Is Short

Science Fiction in a Flash


Volume 4



Edited by

Carrol Fix



Rogue Star Press

At Smashwords

USA


The Future Is Short, Volume 4

Copyright © 2017 by Jot Russell


"Bridge to Nowhere" Copyright © 2016 by S. M. Kraftchak, "Discarded Demons" Copyright © 2016 by Jack McDaniel, "Rock" Copyright © 2016 by Marianne Petrino,

"Brother Not Mine" Copyright © 2016 by S. M. Kraftchak, "Standoff" Copyright © 2016 by Chris Nance, "Truth at the Cross-Trails" Copyright © 2016 by Paula Friedman, "Wolf at the Door" Copyright © 2016 by Jeremy Lichtman, "Edge of Darkness" Copyright © 2016 by Tom Olbert, "Mystery" Copyright © 2016 by Marianne Petrino, "A Dish Served Cold At Galaxy's Edge" Copyright © 2016 by John Appius Quill, "Bits of the Past" Copyright © 2016 by Andrew Gurcak, "Collider" Copyright © 2016 by Greg Krumrey, "Bylaw, By Law, Belarus" Copyright © 2016 by Jeremy Lichtman, "Blossom" Copyright © 2016 by Marianne Petrino, "A Longing Heart" Copyright © 2016 by John Appius Quill, "Zachery and the Sky Empire" Copyright © 2016 by Davon M. Custis, "UpDate" Copyright © 2016 by Andrew Gurcak, "Everyone's a Hero" Copyright © 2016 by Jack McDaniel, "Accused" Copyright © 2016 by Chris Nance, "Virtuoso" Copyright © 2016 by Jot Russell, "Emit fo tuO" Copyright © 2016 by Justin Sewall, "A Family Decision" Copyright © 2016 by Paula Friedman, "The Lost Bulldog" Copyright © 2016 by Justin Sewall, "‘Tar-Bereft in Cylent Cyty" Copyright © 2016 by Andrew Gurcak, "Signs of Life" Copyright © 2016 by Jack McDaniel, "A Much Needed Vacation" Copyright © 2016 by Jeremy McLain, "Blivasten" Copyright © 2016 by John Appius Quill, "Mercury" Copyright © 2016 by Jot Russell, "Opposite Inverse Misunderstood" Copyright © 2016 by Justin Sewall, "Poet of the Moon" Copyright © 2016 by Jack McDaniel, "A Robot Walks into a Bar" Copyright © 2016 by Jack McDaniel, "The Leviathan" Copyright © 2016 by Chris Nance, "Cats and Dogs" Copyright © 2016 by C. Lloyd Preville, "Fade on Waltz and Drums" Copyright © 2016 by Paula Friedman, "I Farsotus" Copyright © 2016 by John Appius Quill, "The Dragon Plague" Copyright © 2016 by Jot Russell, "Hunted" Copyright © 2016 by Chris Nance, "Relativity" Copyright © 2016 by Chris Nance, "First Contact" Copyright © 2016 by C. Lloyd Preville, "Tempus Fugit" Copyright © 2016 by Jot Russell, "Taken" Copyright © 2016 by Rejoice Denhere, "Friends" Copyright © 2016 by Jack McDaniel, "Blood Chit" Copyright © 2016 by Jeremy McLain, "Five Words" Copyright © 2016 by Chris Nance, "Eule Tide Greetings" Copyright © 2016 by Tom Olbert, "Zample Time" Copyright © 2016 by C. Lloyd Preville.


Cover art: Andrea Danti at Fotolia.com


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.


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Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in these works are solely those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.


POD ISBN: 978-1-945646-37-9

EPUB ISBN: 978-1-945646-38-6

MOBI ISBN: 978-1-945646-39-3


Contents

Introduction


Bridges

Bridge to Nowhere ~ S. M. Kraftchak

Discarded Demons ~ Jack McDaniel

Rock ~ Marianne G. Petrino


Separated Siblings

Brother, Not Mine ~ S. M. Kraftchak

Standoff ~ Chris Nance


Truth

Truth at the Cross-Trails ~ Paula Friedman

Wolf at the Door ~ Jeremy Lichtman

Edge of Darkness ~ Tom Olbert

Mystery ~ Marianne G. Petrino

A Dish Served Cold at Galaxy´s Edge ~ John Appius Quill


Time

Bylaw, By Law, Belarus ~ Jeremy Lichtman

Bits of the Past ~ Andrew Gurcak

Collider ~ Greg Krumrey

Blossom ~ Marianne G. Petrino

A Longing Heart ~ John Appius Quill


Virtues / Vices

Emit fo tuO ~ Justin Sewall

Zachery and the Sky Empire ~ Joseph Minart

UpDate ~ Andrew Gurcak

Everyone’s a Hero ~ Jack McDaniel

Accused ~ Chris Nance

Virtuoso ~ Jot Russell


Alternate History

Poet of the Moon ~ Jack McDaniel

A Family Decision ~ Paula Friedman

The Lost Bulldog ~ Justin Sewall

Vacation

Signs of Life ~ Jack McDaniel

Tar Bereft in Cylent Cyty ~ Andrew Gurcak

Blivasten ~ John Appius Quill

Mercury ~ Jot Russell

Opposite, Inverse, Misunderstood ~ Justin Sewall

A Much-Needed Vacation ~ J. D. McLain


Alien Bones

The Leviathan ~ Chris Nance

A Robot Walks into a Bar ~ Jack McDaniel

Cats and Dogs ~ C. Lloyd Preville


Alien Plague

Fade on Waltz and Drums ~ Paula Friedman

I, Farsotus ~ John Appius Quill

The Dragon Plague ~ Jot Russell


Save the Girl (or Guy)

Hunted ~ Chris Nance


"Goddamned Time Machine!"

Tempus Fugit ~ Jot Russell

Relativity ~ Chris Nance

First Contact ~ C. Lloyd Preville


Language

Friends ~ Jack McDaniel

Five Words ~ Chris Nance

Blood Chit ~ J. D. McLain

Taken ~ Rejoice Denhere

Eule Tide Greeting ~ Tom Olbert

Zample Time ~ C. Lloyd Preville

Introduction



Science fiction lives within the heart of dreamers. For within a dream, there are no bounds, the laws of physics need not apply, and the dimensions of space-time are limitless. While the rest of us are bound by the rules of society, the strain of a weekly paycheck, and the obligations of our routine lives, dreamers are to free to fly.

If you could unlock your mind from these self-perpetuating chains and experience the infinity, what would you dream? Would you vacation to an underground city on a distant world, search for the bones of an alien race to uncover the plague that had caused their demise, create a universal language to bridge the divide between us and the beyond, or ride a machine to travel through time and change the course of history? The only wrong answer is nothing at all.

Welcome to our dreams . . .


Jot Russell

Science Fiction Microstory Contest Creator

Science Fiction Microstory Contest Group Founder




Bridges

January 2016


Theme:

Bridges – actual or metaphorical

Elements:

Things Carried


Champion

"The Bridge to Nowhere"

S. M. Kraftchak


Bridge to Nowhere

S. M. Kraftchak

What would you do for the love of your life?

Alexander leaned forward on his knees to catch his breath. He had arrived at the Bridge to Nowhere. His headlamp revealed a narrow rock bridge that seemed to end mid-air, a thousand feet above the desert valley, but it wasn’t the real end, he hoped. Alexander’s hand went to the round warmth nestled in the backpack on his chest. He had promised Rajiera that he would return her egg, their egg, to her home world.


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