Category Archives: Emily Martha Sorensen

Drabble: Standardized Testing – by Emily Martha Sorensen

by specklit

Miss Hatkinson wandered between rows, avoided tripping on the dinosaur-centaur’s tail, and nudged the cords of an air machine away from the walkway as she passed a methane-breathing squidlike student.

Two fuzzy aliens in the front row started giggling uncontrollably. Miss Hatkinson’s eyes narrowed in suspicion.

She turned back to the air machine and searched the cords until she found the tiny box she was looking for.

“This is a brain-booster!” she scolded. “Do you think I don’t know that your species performs better when you listen to ultrasonic frequencies? Cheating!”

Supervising standardized tests was a nightmare on this starbase.

Author’s Note: Teaching would get so much more complicated if you had to memorize the culture and biology of several dozen different student species.

Drabble: Dragon Bait – by Emily Martha Sorensen

by specklit

They left her as bait for the dragon. It only made sense: She’d been a stranger on the road, and none of the villagers wanted to sacrifice their own daughters.

As the dragon swooped down, wings spread, she raised her head and shouted in a strange tongue. The dragon stopped, looking confused.

What those fools didn’t realize, she thought, stripping the chains off her arms and legs, was that no innocent girl would walk alone on the roads like that. Only a witch would dare.

“Come on now,” she crooned to her new pet. “Let’s go destroy that village together.”

Author’s Note: Damsels in distress aren’t always as distressed as they seem.

Drabble: Zombies – by Emily Martha Sorensen

by specklit

Two zombies were shambling around the kitchen. Breathing heavily, I cocked my squirt gun and prepared to shoot.

Blam! I hit one in the head. It howled with outrage.

Splat! I splashed one across the back. It shrieked.

Wham! The first zombie reached me, moving faster than I would have believed. It grabbed the squirt gun and seized my wrist. I could smell the stench of its breath.

“Die, zombie!” I shrieked, trying to pry my hands free.

The zombie growled in its guttural, barely-intelligible language. “For just one morning, would you let your parents make their coffee in peace?”

Author’s Note: It would be a very weird world if people were literally zombies when they first awakened in the morning.

Drabble: Identical Twits – by Emily Martha Sorensen

by specklit

“They’re not, in fact, identical twins,” I tried to explain to the teacher. Off to the side, my little brothers were fighting over a toy they both wanted. No surprise, since they had identical tastes. “I only had one brother originally. The teleporter glitched and sent back two copies of him.”

“How long ago was that?” the teacher asked.

“Last week,” I said.

“Too late to recycle the spare, then.”

I grimaced and nodded. “My parents said there were ethical considerations and refused to. So I’m stuck with two little brothers now.”

“It’s myyyyy toyyyyyyy!” one of the boys howled.

Author’s Note: There would be ethical considerations to accidental doubles. I imagine it would be similar to pro-life debates.

Drabble: The Body-Borrower – by Emily Martha Sorensen

by specklit

“Have you been borrowing my body again?” Tasha demanded, glaring at the dog.

Woofie looked at her with huge, angelic eyes, as if to say Who, me?

Tasha held out her hands. “There are dog biscuit crumbs all over these! Who said that you could use my body when I’m practicing astral projecting?”

Woofie panted and thumped her tail.

Tasha shook her head in annoyance. Highly magical! the salesman had said. Can act as a companion and a spell collaborator!

What he had conveniently failed to mention was that pets were still pets.

She should never have gotten a familiar.

Author’s Note: My friend challenged me to come up with a short story that started with “Have you been borrowing my body again?” So I took it in a silly direction.

Drabble: Miss Galaxy – by Emily Martha Sorensen

by specklit

I nearly stepped into an oozing puddle.

“Excuuuuse me!” the alien beauty queen said.

My face flushed. “Sorry.”

“Now, we brought you here because of humans’ reputation for unbearable ugliness,” my guide said, speaking cheerfully as if my presence here were a great honor instead of an involuntary abduction. “That will make you impartial in judging our Miss Galaxy competition. Come in!”

I followed him into the giant space dome, trying to feel flattered. After all, I had been chosen above all the humans on Earth. But it was pretty hard.

After all, back home, I had been Miss Galaxy.

Author’s Note: I once made up a series of paper dolls that I called “Galaxy Girls.” They were alien contestants for a beauty competition. None of them were beautiful by human standards, especially not the puddle that had a bow on it.

Drabble: Shoulder Angel, Shoulder Demon – by Emily Martha Sorensen

by specklit

I wish they’d never invented Morality Day.

“Go apologize to Helen,” my shoulder angel insisted, poking my cheek.

“Go TP her house,” my shoulder demon grinned, twisting my earlobe.

“Leave her a plate of cookies,” the angel added, tugging my hair.

“Smash a carton of eggs on her door,” the demon smirked, kicking my collarbone.

“STOP IT!” I shouted, hurling them away. “I hate both of you!”

I stormed off, and for one blissful moment, I had peace. Then…

“I think you should apologize to me,” the angel sniffed.

“I think you should kick her off again,” the demon grinned.

Author’s Note: What if you literally had to deal with shoulder angels and demons once a year, every year? I think it would be very annoying.

Drabble: Their Daily Eight Minutes – by Emily Martha Sorensen

by specklit

“I believe that what you do with your time-travel is your own business,” Ms. Atwin said, holding out a basket as she walked down the aisles. “But if you use it in my classroom, it’s considered cheating. So, hand over your cellphones, please.”

“As if I’m going to waste my daily eight minutes on tests,” Chet stage-whispered to his best friend.

“I barely even use mine,” Stanley shrugged, dropping his in.

“I already used mine so I wasn’t late,” Hannah sighed.

Ms. Atwin stopped and pulled an offending phone from the basket. “And no counterfeits from tomorrow, either!” she shouted.

Author’s Note: I see this as a future where everyone has an app on their cellphone to allow them eight minutes of time-travel every day. To have more, you have to pay an expensive subscription fee.

Drabble: The Assassin’s Karma – by Emily Martha Sorensen

by specklit

“My schedule’s booked through November,” the assassin said. “I had a target in March.”

The client tried not to stare at the assassin’s obviously-pregnant belly. “Is that going to get in the way?” he hedged.

“What?” The assassin looked down. “Oh, this? No. I have a baby every time I kill somebody.”

The client laughed, thinking she was joking. “You must have killed a dozen people.”


“So I’m sure you don’t —”

She reached into her wallet and casually tossed a picture on the table.

The client paused, aghast.

“Don’t you think it’s good karmic balance?” the assassin said cheerfully.

Author’s Note: I had the idea for an assassin with a really weird code of ethics: she never takes more people out of the world than she is willing to bring into it. It would be really weird to be one of her kids. I don’t think she tells them she is secretly an assassin.

Drabble: Proof – by Emily Martha Sorensen

by specklit

“Mom,” I said in a strained voice, “you’re not an elf.”

She just stared at me. “Oh?” she asked. “And how can you prove that?”

“No one has to prove it! Elves don’t exist!”

Mom looked puzzled. “Who told you that?”


She sighed and shook her head.

“Can you prove that you are?” I challenged.

“Certainly.” Mom snapped her fingers. Her African violet on the windowsill exploded out of its pot and sprawled dirty roots all across the floor.

I goggled.

“Now,” Mother said, smugly, “would you like to meet the dragon who eats socks out of our dryer?”

Author’s Note: The real question is: is that dragon a pet, or an unwelcome pest they can’t get rid of? It’ll cost three socks to find out.

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