Issue 91 Dec 2020

Issue 91 Dec 2020

The First Frost by Nicholas Stillman“Oh jeez,” Court said with some feigned surprise. “We have to launch the junk heap right now.”

Court nearly trembled while gripping the tablet, but he held a half grin no problem. The screen between his sweaty thumbs showed that over 1600 people now watched the column of sky over his house. The chat room filled with more gawkers than the whole student body of his high school.

“Do we look ready to launch the junk heap?” Wally asked from the opposite end of the balcony.

Court shrugged. He certainly looked too short for anyone to take seriously, and Wally looked too thin. However, they both wore jogging pants greasier than what the jocks wore at school. They looked ready to run into the house should the quadcopter drone go berserk like it did yesterday. Furthermore, the plastic rotor guards hardly had any cracks at all.

“Ready enough, I guess,” Court said. “If it falls on my house, everyone in school will at least get a good laugh--probably. We have to launch before the first frost anyway because we don’t even know if the battery will work then.”

Glow in the Dark by Katie WatersAlex had left the party. She was in Mel’s garden, watching the ripples of orange in the dark water of the pond. Koi. It struck her how they were so bright yet so quiet at the same time.

She had come here for a distraction, but now she just wanted to be alone. From this spot on the patio, she could hear the thump-thump-thump of the stereo in Mel’s kitchen, accompanied by whoops and laughter. Then she could hear one of the voices from inside growing louder and clearer. Someone was coming.

Alex turned away from the pond to see a girl running through Mel’s shiny dining room, towards the double glass doors. She was lit up by the patio lights, and Alex saw that she had curly, black hair that brushed her shoulders. She wore a glittery, blue crop-top and a tight black skirt that stopped halfway down her thighs.

“Hey,” she said, grinning as she staggered over in her high heels.

“Hi.” Alex didn’t return the smile; if she looked hostile, perhaps this girl would go back inside.

But she made it to Alex and rested her arms on the bird table to her right.