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.
- 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?"
- Jackson’s Cat VideosJackson looked up from a cat video at the sound of flopping sandals on the floor he'd just cleaned. His expressionless middle-aged face bore the slightest frown. Was she management? She looked more like a tongue depressor escaped from a gardening expo than a supervisor. However, he didn't know all the ship's managers, so he placed his device in his pocket discretely. He picked up his mop from the floor and examined her progress. She left a trail of echoing "THOP" sounds across the hall's tiled expanse.
- ValedictionGreetings fellow graduates, parents, and faculty. No one is more surprised than me that I am speaking to you tonight. When we first walked through the big glass doors of Happy Valley High four years ago, did anyone imagine that this budding goth girl might one day be valedictorian of the class of 2014? So many students studied more than me. So many worked harder than me. So many were smarter than me. Yet somehow none of them survived the high school gauntlet, so here I am. I didn’t even take any AP classes. In hindsight, that was probably lucky. Otherwise I might have suffocated on the chlorine gas Mary Llewellyn mixed from those mislabeled ingredients in chemistry lab. Or perhaps I would have suffered acute radiation sickness in AP Physics after that unfortunate typo on the laboratory supply form. You probably wouldn’t have found me in AP Biology though. My strict vegetarian principals made me uncomfortable dissecting fetal pigs. Who could have guessed that my squeamishness would save me from contracting flesh-eating bacteria? There’s a lesson about the importance of sticking to one’s principles in there somewhere.
- Sidewalk Sorcery“Stop it, TJ, you’re doin’ it wrong!” “Shut up, Alex, I am not.” Chalk staining his fingers, TJ drew a double inverted arrow, piercing the center of the circle. “Are, too!” Alex crouched beside his brother, careful not to smudge the lines. “That’s not the way Mom showed us—”
- 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.
- Diary of a BoggartFrom behind the chimney on the rooftop, I watched them move in. I was careful not to slip on the mossy shingles, always so careful. They had a truck full of human stuff. There is a mom and a dad, and a little girl they call Miranda. They have a white feline. They call it Mister Jones, and already it knows of me. Tonight I will get to work.
- The Fog LightThese days, Grant Buglass of the Cumbrian Constabulary dislikes going to the coast. The mere sight of the ocean waves is enough to trigger deep, clammy discomfort in him, and the feelings only become worse on days when the Irish Sea is wreathed in impenetrable mist. If only he hadn't taken up the case of Edward Smith, and if only he hadn't read that damned man's diary. If only he had never seen the light in the fog. He had been called to the beach near St. Bee's head just a scant three weeks ago, a simple report of someone having drowned being his call to action. Grim things, drownings; he had never liked the way they left a body looking, and even though they were rare enough the waters near that coastline could be unpredictable and violent when the weather had a mind to whip them up. Wincing as the cold autumn air struck his head and neck, the policeman gritted his teeth and strode out into the icy world outside, making his way up the valley roads from the comfortable yet small station in Whitehaven up to the shelterless heights of St. Bees, the village from which the cliff head gathered its name. It didn't take him long to reach the beach, nor to discover the body. The locals had done their best to keep what few tourists were around away from it, and as he approached one of them ran to meet him, a sturdy woman of …
- ScarsDark webbing still marks my shoulder from the day that bullets separated my squad from our company. The bleeding would’ve killed me if my comrades hadn’t bandaged it. But isolated from medical equipment, we couldn’t stop the scarring.
- Just Up the BeachDonnie's window muffled the clank of swords and the pop of rifles as if they were being played from an old radio. He hopped from his bed, walked over his array of toy soldiers on the floor, and watched the bright display along the shore. When he woke the next morning his neck ached from sleeping with his head on the sill. The beach was calm and quiet in the dawning light. "Just a dream, Donnie," his dad said at breakfast, when Donnie told him of the battle on the beach. "This summer home is old and creaky. You're just not used to it yet." "Eat up," said his mom, pushing a plate of pancakes in front of his doubtful face. When his parents settled into their Adirondack chairs on the porch with their coffee and their books, Donnie went down to the beach. An unusual rusty odor haunted the salty air as he walked along the edge of the water, letting the waves wash over his feet. Something brushed against his ankle. Bending over, he plucked a small bullet casing from the water and rolled it his fingers, then he walked toward the fort.