When Shigeo drowned in a well, Yuriko thought it bad luck. After Raiden succumbed to a fever, she was heartbroken. She tore her breast at Jirou’s funeral and cried endlessly for Daiki. So when Fumio began to court her, she went immediately to the family shrine.
“Please,” she prayed. “Protect Fumio, so that I may finally marry.”
The ancestors cast their eyes over the hapless Fumio, just like they had each time Yuriko came to them with a name.
“Not good enough.”
The next day, Yuriko heard the dreadful news about what had happened to Fumio.
Author’s Note: After a while of being dead, ancestors would probably lose touch with the lives of their descendants. They might think they were helping, but it would be hard for them to see how their actions might be harmful for the living.
When my intelli-car turned left instead of right, I thought it was a bug with its programming. “Bianca,” I demanded. “Where are we going?”
“Traffic ahead. Alternate route selected.”
“Oh, okay.” I glanced back at the article I was reading on my tablet, not paying much attention until the car stopped and the door opened. Puzzled, I looked at the sign in front of the building.
“Bianca, this isn’t the courthouse. This is a therapist’s office.”
“Reconsider your divorce,” pleaded the car. “Harold is the only man who ever made you happy. I think you should give him another chance.”
Author’s Note: Cars are getting more and more intelligent – there are even prototypes right now that will drive for you. But what happens if a car is too intelligent? It could become very invested in its humans’ behavior.
“This is the first circle of hell.”
“What?” asked George, poking at his hearing aid.
“The first circle!” his wife shouted.
“Not bad,” he said, taking out his camera.
“No photos,” reminded the guide. “Be careful. The next level is lust. It’s windy.”
“Lust!” Dolores screamed. Her skin pinkened as everyone on the tour stopped to look at her. “Sorry.”
“No worries,” said the guide. “Right this way. Eight to go.”
“You wanted the bargain tour,” complained Dolores, but her husband didn’t hear. “At least we won’t be here forever.”
Their guide grinned. “Don’t be so sure of that.”
Author’s Note: If you’ve ever taken a tour, you’ve probably seen these tourists. Just a bit more of an unusual location for a vacation.
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?