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.
- 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.
- In the Company of Shadows"Child, keep out of gravestone shadows." Wendy gave Aiden's hand a slight tug, dragging him farther from an elongated shadow in the grass. "I don't want to die." "No one dies in here. Just don't step in any shadows. The sun's getting higher. See. The shadows are already disappearing." "Will they follow us then?" Aiden stumbled on a root hidden in the uncut weeds. "The shadows?" "Those men."
- Geese FlyGary ducked into the pressure suit locker pulling it shut behind him. The stench of sweat and disinfectant pushed him back against the locker door. He shoved himself into the claustrophobic space at the back of the locker's rack where a third suit normally hung. His rapid heart beat made him shake. If any of the officers saw him, he'd be scrubbing urinals with his tooth brush, or worse. He just couldn't do the drills today. Not today. They were dropping tomorrow and he needed alone time. Gary slumped down in the dark as much as the cramped locker allowed. His back pressed against one wall with his knees painfully jamming the locker wall in front of him. "It won't be that bad when they shut off grav," Gary reminded himself in a mutter.
- A Murder of CrowsThe wind’s desperate grasp strips the frail leaves from the silver maple but the giant looks as if it still wears its finery, a borrowed dress perhaps, with the murder of crows gathered within its branches. The girl listens to the soft flutter of wings, stretches out her hand to catch a single black feather as it drifts down in a slow spiral. When the stiff plume makes contact with her skin the birds alight and she gasps, even though she has already seen their departure. The girl watches the murder grow smaller. She watches the empty leaden skies for a long time, until the shadows of the night form and Morgan comes for her. “They’re gone.” Morgan follows her gaze into nothing. “Just like you said.” The girl tucks the feather into the breast pocket of her heavy flannel work shirt. “Is Sirin okay?” Morgan looks down at the girl. “I haven’t seen her since breakfast.”
- ErosionFred looked down on her burnt form. His squinting eyes bookmarked a crumpled expression and one twitching nostril that threatened to make his voluminous mustache crawl away to find a more appetizing site. Smokey smells replaced the expected morning scent of sagebrush after rain. Her right arm flung wildly above her reposed form, clawed at the scorched bark of an ancient pinyon destroyed by the previous night’s fire. He scratched his back and rubbed his fingers through the mustache to calm its twitching, then cleared his throat. He looked at the late morning sun, as if to burn the image of her scorched flesh out of his mind. She opened one eye slightly. Her voice rasp, “I must have slipped out. It won’t let me back in.” Her left fist unclenched, but the right hand kept rubbing raw burnt fingers against the remains of the pinyon.
- EstrellaThe late November night in the palace courtyard was like a still, empty ballroom. The towering Palacio Real glowed white and silver against the obsidian sky. Ramona looked up at its immense facade, studying the aged pillars and dozens of worn window shudders, some half open. The shudders creaked as the night breeze whistled through them. Eduardo gently put his hand on Ramona’s shoulder, interrupting her fixation on the marvelous building. She started at his touch. “It’s beautiful,” she commented, catching her wits. The two of them strolled down the pathway of the Plaza de Oriente, the perfectly kempt gardens in front of the palace. Lined beside them were statues of the great Gothic kings of the Iberian Peninsula, standing in militant poses in their breaches and capes. Eduardo watched Ramona admiringly as she studied the faces of the men. She caught a second glance at a face that reminded her of someone she knew. They walked a few more steps, and Eduardo put his arm around her shoulder, hoping it would get her mind back on him. Intrigued, Ramona looked up to the statues again. “Look at that one,” she remarked. “His nose is worn off.” Eduardo looked up and squinted, studying it. “No it’s not.” Ramona looked up at it again. A perfectly chiseled face of a man, nose and all, with the head of his victim in hand. She shook her head, feeling foolish. The cold air must be getting to her, she thought.
- A Way OutThe corridor mimicked the Martian landscape; linoleum flecked with rusty reds and dusky pinks, and the color on the walls a dull yellow like the alien sky. Mikhail’s boots, gray like the studded metal doors flanking him on either side, sent echoes ahead of him as he marched. Tiny green lights blinked at him from the security cameras in the ceiling, and his breathing shuddered loud in his ears. Beneath a wool jacket and nylon shirt, his back prickled with sweat. Not because of the ever-watchful green-eyed guardians; he was used to those. It was the uncertainty of whether or not they’d believe his performance.
- 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.
- Flutter“Mommy?” “Yes, my child?” Her back bristled with chitinous spines, gathering microscopic dew in the rapidly cooling eventide. “I can’t sleep.” “But you must sleep. A child grows faster when they rest. Besides, breakfast is being made.” The mother was bundling a parcel, spinning it into the loom of her abdomen as the toxins turned the victim to stone. “But I can’t sleep,” the cotton orb stirred, a fluttering inside the pliable strands, woven tight. “Are you hungry, child?”
- All Heaven in a RageShe’s evil, the witch next door, she and her feline fiends. She with her hooked beak, they with their killing claws and dagger teeth that take my darling pretty birds. I grab my broom. I throw the back door wide as her cats come creeping and leaping down into my garden. Black cats with marble eyes, brown streaky ones, milk ones with sulfurous spots. My robin lovebirds dance on the seed table, pecking together in the morning mist. My blessed ravens squabble below in the weeds over scraps. I keep one eye on the weathervane, perched high on my leaky roof. The wind comes from the east north east, it’s safe and true; one degree westwards and it’ll blow me a deadly note. But I shan’t be caught out; I won’t be distracted whilst tending my herb garden to perish the way my wicked-hearted mother went, felled by the cursed changing of the wind. No true witch can endure the faerie wind which blows from the west with all its pale magic. My mother was careless, the faerie wind won’t get me, the oldest witch of Suburbville. The cats though, and she next door, they ooze constant sneakiness and cunning; my feathered ones always dine in mortal danger. I rattle my broom in the air; the furred ones pause in their wickedness. “Woman! Cats!” I screech, stumbling to the fence, swiping at stalking cats. I bang on the wooden slats until my crooked teeth jangle. And at last she appears, …