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.
- 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.
- Last SupperI stare down from my perch and think about suicide for the thirtieth time today, but I can't do it. If the five story fall doesn't kill me, I don't want to be at the mercy of the hoard. I snap open another soda and stare at the horizon as a rainbow forms through the distant rain clouds. It's beautiful. Then I look down at the writhing ground beneath me and I want to vomit. They crawl over themselves, crushing those at the bottom as they try to reach me. Each day the pile gets a little higher.
- Nobody for ChristmasI didn't want her to hear me. I didn't want to disturb her. Jayleen was kneeling with her back to me. This was the wrong setting for her. I'd tried to make the house look cheerful for Christmas. Tinsel braided the mantle. The few cards I'd received were displayed—robin and holly bright. But Jayleen should've be kneeling on a rush mat, she should have been screened by paper doors as she worked on her shodō. I'd met Jayleen just a few months after Mother's death. In that grey hopeless fog she'd reached out to me. She was so different from any woman I'd ever known. I could spend hours just watching her. "I can sense you, Dave," she said.
- PetitionOne knock sounded on his door at 12:01 AM on the first of November, as it had for 250 years. Anthony hesitated, even though the request was familiar. He glanced out the kitchen window at the moonwashed cliff of Beachy Head and the Channel beyond. Then a million knocks, a billion, pounding away in unison, a coruscating knot of sound that quaked his small home. The knocking made dishes rattle in their cabinets and his glass of whisky to dance and crash to the floor.
- The CommuteI wanted to growl at the man boarding ahead of me- a real growl, like one of those extinct jungle cats projected at the zoo. I bit my tongue, though, worried that mimicking extinct felines could potentially get me committed. Instead, I protected my bulging belly from his wayward elbows as he fought through the small crowd for first place in line. I didn’t want my little girl brain damaged because someone had hit the snooze button too many times. I shivered. The air this far below was so damp. It seeped through my tunic and bored its way through my muscles until it reached my bones. I hated the tube. “Everybody’s in a hurry, huh?” The woman beside me murmured. She was also pregnant. Of course.
- Two by Two"Marcus?" his caseworker said, her hands folded on Mama's kitchen table. "Did something happen to your sneaker?" Marcus looked down at his size thirteen feet—two shoes, one old, one new. "No ma'am." "Why don't they match?" She didn't understand that matches weren't the same as pairs. Daddy never told her about arks. "They're opposites," he said. Daddy explained it better because he had more words. That was okay. Marcus was better at pairing. "Like your socks?" One foot, two foot, red foot, blue foot. Marcus smiled and nodded. "You and me, we're opposites, too." "I guess we are. Is your father still spending all his time at the hospital?"
- Not a SpadeGusting face-freezing wind displaced Sister Wendy Riley's bonnet, pushing it nearly off her dirty brown hair. No matter how many steps Wendy made toward Zion in the Great Salt Lake Valley, the wind seemed determine to blow her back to Liverpool. The annoying and ill timed gust that finally dislodged her bonnet came as she pulled her handcart up a rise. Releasing one hand from the crossbar to fix the errant bonnet meant losing the cart and her few belongings to the hill. With hair whipping her face, she prayed the tie string kept the bonnet around her neck until she reached flat ground ahead. Wendy stood to one side while pulling the handcart, as though her husband still might join her on his side of the cart. She turned down offers, even from the Wilson boys, to help her pull the handcart. She did not want anyone in his spot. It was silly, but a week was still too soon.
- Where the Demon LivesI noticed the demon living in my right index fingernail because that nail grew ten times faster than any of the others.
- 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.
- Heart Patent"Owen! You've got snail mail!" "What's that?" Owen asked, taking the envelope from his father. "Don't they teach you kids anything at college?" Owen opened the envelope, and read the single sheet of paper. His father whistled from over his shoulder. "That looks official. Is it a scam?" You are hereby ordered by the court to appear in civil hearing of copyright infringement, patent infringement, smuggling, and bootlegging of a human organ.