NOTE: No submissions will be accepted until the current anthology is published.
Science fiction stories. Fantasy stories. Horror stories. All for adults, but of the family-friendly persuasion.
T. Gene Davis’s Speculative Blog posts free science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories–mostly by guest authors. Subscribe (on the left) for the free sci-fi, horror and fantasy stories newsletter delivered when new stories post. The stories accepted are for adults (sometimes with mature themes), but safe to leave open on a tablet at the kitchen table where kids can get ahold of it. I currently pay $100 (US) for the right to publish your story on the blog and in the anthology. Check out the submission guidelines for more information.
Here are a few stories chosen at random to read, or check out the archives for more.
- Tiny Dolls"Wasn't your Aunt Elda just a little touched in the head?" Mrs. Casey asked, tapping her forehead. Mary Beth Quincy's eyebrows shot up. "A little? Oh no. A lot, I'd say! Always talking about curses and such." The two women snickered. Mary Beth's husband, Andy, joined in the laughter. Their daughter, Kimmie, looked around Great-Aunt Elda's living room. So many grown-ups but no one cared now if her brother, Jack, put his wet glass directly on the table. No one cared if someone sat in her great-aunt's favorite chair or spilled coffee on the rug. Kimmie remembered: Great-Aunt Elda had told her that everyone considered her to be a strange old lady. She even said that they couldn't wait 'til she, Elda Warren, died. "Then they'll see," she said. "They will see." Well, now she did die and Kimmie thought that maybe her great aunt truly was off her rocker; she had never let anyone--not even her, her only great niece (who really was very careful), go near the dollhouse that stood by itself at the top of the attic stairs. Kimmie pulled on her mother's sleeve. "The dollhouse," she said. "The one in the attic. Can I have it?"
- Annie’s PlanetsNico noticed the little girl as she pressed herself against the glass window of his antique store. She stared with intent but when he smiled, she didn't smile back. He returned to his work but looked up over the wire-rim of his glasses as the bell above the door tinkled. The little girl strode in, black braid swishing behind her, followed by a frazzled woman. "Annie, wait," the woman said, but the girl ignored her. Instead she stopped at the end of the counter to focus on the project in front of Nico.
- Skeleton in the Closet"Dad, I'm feeding the skeleton in the closet." My seven-year-old daughter stated this. She wasn't asking permission.I had to sit up in my arm chair and set down my Kindle. "Really?" "Yes. He likes donuts."
- Hot WaterThere was no hot water when I went to take a shower this morning. Oh great, I thought. It’s always something. I went down to the basement to see if I could figure out what was wrong with the water heater and right away I saw what was causing the problem: the dragon was dead.
- Unlikely Things"Help me get convicted." "No." "You don't feel I need to go to jail?" Ruby groaned. "Being a defense attorney shouldn't be this complex." "I will die if they put me back on that ship. How would that make you feel?" Ishmael's plump face projected patience and interest, rather than fear and hope. "I know you are innocent, and if I prove you are in court I'll never forgive myself." "I agree. You can't tell them what I've told you. You have to get me convicted." She threw her pile of legal documents across the room, spreading papers and breaking tablets. "I hate you! I'll be disbarred for this! I hate you!" She glanced up to see the prison guard looking through the observation window inquisitively. Ruby discreetly wiped her eye, careful not to smear any makeup. Satisfied that he did not need to intervene, the guard disappeared from the small window. Ishmael leaned back in his aluminum chair, crossing his arms with a broad smile. "Thank you."
- Moon RoadMy mother taught me how to walk the moon road. We find it with the tips of our toes, sliding them along the slick bottom of the river. If I close my eyes, I can feel the slightest edge. I ease the ball joint, the sole, the heel up out of the water. The foot that emerges is not human with its short dark nails and tufts of fur. My nose elongates, protrudes. Whiskers tickle my cheeks. My ears swivel, seeking the sounds of night. It is a gentle transformation. Mother and I walk the moon road, swishing our tails. We bound over the water, chase meteors, pounce on constellations. We grin at each other the way dogs do—it’s said they learned that from people. Maybe they learned it from people like us.
- Fishie"Fishie?" Little Evan asked over the sound of his mother flushing the toilet. Ray stepped between Evan and Cecelia, squatting down to look into Evan's watering eyes. "I thought you said that Fishie went to heaven." Ray took a deep breath, keeping eye contact. "Evan, ... Fishie, ... well, he did some things... He's gone to a bad place."
- By the Light of a Shopgirl’s StarThe ting-a-ting-clank announcing a customer caught me off guard. No one came in Moore's Gas & More in July. We didn't have air conditioning. Even the taffy got squishy. I popped up from the candy row and gave my jeans a yank. "Can I help you?" I squinted at the customer standing by the corn chips, backlit by the window. I guessed woman because she was short. I figured she wanted the john. "Back there." I pointed past the air filters. "Only got one. Uni-sex and all." She stared out the window like a little kid, her fingers hooked over the magazine racks. "I'm Cinny if you need anything," I said. I resumed my candy shelving, singing Gloria Estefan under my breath. I had a good set of pipes. Mama said my voice was sweet enough to soothe baby birds out of the nest, whatever that meant, only I was too awkward to sing in front of folks. The customer scuff-scuffed into the candy row like she didn't know to pick her feet up. I turned and I figured out she was a he, and the strangest little he I'd ever seen.
- Jack Twice-Caught and the PushermanNo one in Bridge could remember exactly when the legend of the Pusherman began. As folk began to go missing, the stories just appeared, fully formed, as if they had fallen from the sky. Some in Bridge whispered that the Pusherman was an old graybeard who hunted children playing along the Edge because he was envious of their youth. Others said he was a jealous husband who pushed his cheating wife over the Edge and came to enjoy the taste of murder.
- The Lake Offering“What do you think is in it?” There had been a solid five minutes of silence between the two boys before Alex finally asked the question. Another minute passed before Andrew gave him an answer. “My first guess would be a dead body,” he replied as they continued to stare at the coffin sitting in front of them.