Monthly Archives: April 2014

Drabble: Protocol by Simon Petrie

by specklit

“Open.”

The airlock stayed shut.

“Open!”

Still shut. Kerstin felt panic rise. She had just twenty minutes’ O2 left. Xia had less.

“There should be an emergency release,” said Xia.

“There isn’t,” said Kerstin, exasperated. “This model’s fully voice-activated. Self-aware, apparently. And, supposedly, fully failsafe. Useless heap of junk. Open!”

The airlock stayed shut.

Xia’s breath, loud. Starting to gasp? “Whack it with your multi-tool.”

“Won’t work.” She did it anyway. It didn’t help, and the recoil sent her spinning. “Running out of time here. Damn you, open!”

“Let me try something,” said Xia. “Open. Please.”

And the airlock opened.

Author’s Note: I long for the day when gadgetry becomes truly self-aware, so it will understand exactly when I tell it how annoyed I am with its performance.


The Best of SpeckLit – Reader’s Choice

by specklit

As of April 1st, SpeckLit started with a new round of authors and drabbles, meaning it’s time to celebrate the best stories that have appeared on the site since December: eight authors and 40 stories.

While we loved every single one of them (we wouldn’t have published them if we didn’t), we would like to know which ones were your favorites.

We invite you to use the form below to vote on your top three stories. The winners will receive Amazon gift certificates. Votes must be received by the 8th of May. Winners will be announced the following week.

The Best of SpeckLit 1st Quarter 2014

Enter the name of your top 3 stories in the spaces provided. To refresh your memory, you can visit any of them by clicking on the story title. Only one set of votes per email address allowed. Email addresses will not be used for any purpose other than confirm the validity of the vote. At the end of the month, they will be discarded.

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Thank you for helping make SpeckLit the place on the web for micro-fiction.


Drabble: Homecoming by Stewart C Baker

by specklit

They tore themselves out of the sky, the spiders, their silvery-sharp claws reflecting the glare of sunset, and screamed to the Earth in dizzying waves of super-heated steel.

I had built them decades ago – they were supposed to spread across the galaxy, finding life and assessing it, making sure it wasn’t a threat to humanity. Taking care of it if it was.

Of course nobody had believed me; all I ever got was mockery and scorn.

I didn’t bother with press releases when they returned: nobody would listen.

Besides, what would be the point? I’d built them to be unstoppable.

Author’s note: I don’t think it would be any surprise to find out that we’re our own worst enemy.


Drabble: The Midas Tuque by Ken MacGregor

by specklit

Gary pulled back his hood, exposing his bald head.

“Help you?” called the man from behind the counter. Gary nodded.

“I lost my hat,” Gary said.

“Got a magic tuque,” the man said. “It’s warm and it grows hair. Here.”

Gary put on the tuque. It grew quite warm and tight almost immediately. Gary took off the tuque and long, brown hair spilled out.

“I’ll take it,” Gary said, plopping the tuque on his fist to dig out his wallet.

“Don’t!” The man cried. But, it was too late. The hair flowed up Gary’s arm and covered him in seconds.

Author’s Note: The title popped into my head and made me chuckle.


Drabble: Skyjacked by Alison McBain

by specklit

Stupidly, everyone’s been obsessed with a zombie apocalypse. But danger doesn’t always come from within.

That morning, when the alarm blared, I heard the heater kick on. What the heck? I thought. It was July, for chrissakes.

I fumbled for the TV remote in the darkness. The screen lit up with time-lapse footage from NASA, showing an alien filament surrounding the sun. Then the sun disappeared, towed quickly away from the planets which had once orbited it.

Someone had stolen our star.

“—ending life as we know it,” said the newsman.

I didn’t need him to tell me that.

Author’s Note: My husband loves all things zombies and will watch any movie/TV show with a zombie apocalypse. I am not such a fan. Come on, there must be more than one way the world could end, right?


Drabble: Scarf by Samantha Lienhard

by specklit

Snow whirled around me. My teeth chattered, and I broke into a run. Stupid weather.

I slipped and crashed onto the ice. As I got to my knees, I noticed a splotch of red. A scarf. I dusted it free of snow. It was damp, but I was desperate. I wrapped it around my neck and resumed walking.

It pressed too tight against my neck. I loosened the scarf.

Still too tight.

I fumbled at the knot with numb fingers and struggled for breath. My vision was hazy. I had to get it off. Had to…
Darkness swept over me.

Author’s Note: Malevolent clothing could be quite dangerous.


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