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.
- 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.
- The Beast of Broken RockSeveral cycles ago my wife Carpathia went to the market to gather supplies for the long, incumbent winter, but by nightfall she had not returned. By daybreak her side of the bed was still cold, and I feared the worst. For many moons thereafter I searched the plains until my feet bled, and called her name until my throat hurt, but I neither saw her nor heard from her again. The villagers were quick to blame the Beast for my misfortune as they did for every other disappearance in the land, but I did not share their conviction. My wife was gone, but I could not seriously lay her fate at the door of a ghost. I would rather admit she had abandoned me than accept I had lost her to a myth. Even so, sometimes, despite my better judgement, I too cursed the Creature. The worst had come to pass—
- His Father’s EyesI wrote my first prophecy when I was seven. I filled a diary with short statements like, “Sister leaves forever at Christmas,” and “The robot sets the house on fire.” At the time, everyone else thought the writings just fanciful imagination. I knew they were more. They resonated in my young mind like an aluminum bat does when it strikes a knee. Wasn't until years later, after the gift left me, the prophecies started coming true. That Christmas, my robot butler malfunctioned and melted down. My sister visited us that year. She didn’t make it out.
- The Backwards ManI remember quite distinctly the day I met him. One does not easily forget the strangest day in one’s life. It was a soggy morning, gray and overcast; fitting indeed I should think for what would soon take place. He stood at my doorstep, gripped my hand with unearned familiarity and smiling at me, attempted to enter my house. While he appeared vaguely familiar, I was quite certain I had never made his acquaintance. “Pardon, sir,” I said abruptly, blocking his path. “But I am not in the habit of allowing strangers into my home.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?"
- A Healing Song’s Curse"You never sing for me. Why is that?" Rob's voice was casual, but I froze. It was a breezy evening in March and a tired sun handed out the last lights for the day. "I have an awful voice. I fear you'll stop loving me once you hear me sing." I tried to keep my voice playful, but fear in me didn't make it easy. He sighed and put a finger under my chin, turning my face so that my eyes met his. Chocolate brown and inviting—that was what his eyes were. "Don't lie, Nupur." His casual tone had gone, and hurt framed his voice. "You sing for the young, the old, the sick and I always hear that you have a lovely voice. Some say your voice has magic." With a great effort, I kept my face expressionless. The last word hit too close to home. "So why not for me, love? What have I done wrong?"
- Speak English"No. No. No," Van Richter whined. He slapped a hand against the steering wheel. The hover car, its battery reading empty, puttered to a halt on the scenic roadside. Without adequate thrust, it sank down into the grass. The twenty-forty hover model would never have done this. Goes to show, Van thought, newer isn't always better. "I knew we should've recharged back at the last station," said Ula, his wife. Arms crossed, she stared at the road ahead, unable to see Van's irritated glare. "What are we going to do now?" Van took a deep breath. When the ire subsided, he said, "Relax. Emergency roadside will send someone." He pressed a button on the dash. "In the meantime, enjoy all the trees. You don't get much of those in the city." Surrounded by tall, green conifers, Ula glanced their way and then back at her husband. "If I wanted to see trees, I would've chosen to live out here like some cyber-social recluse."
- 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."