By Edele Winnie
She chose the belt carefully. She did not want leather, but rope, narrow rope. He was a thin man, so that helped. Classy rope belts were difficult to find.
He was an odd sort. Tallish, skinny, messy brown hair and glasses. A passionate marine biologist who had never learned how to swim. He’d been fascinated by computers as a youth, and that had led to his development of the computerized shark tracking system as an adult. His work as a biologist was respected but he was still, at heart, a computer geek who spent more time behind the screen than in the water.
She was on the wrong side of forty, married, dyed blonde hair with dark eyebrows. She wore heels every day. She was renowned for her work on the great white shark. It was she who had published the data revealing that there were no large males, only female great whites. Sharks were her passion too, but her moods ran in both warm and cold currents.
It was inevitable that they should meet; there were only so many biologists specializing in great white sharks. It was at the Worthington Marine Aquarium, which held both displays and serious scientific inquiry. Continue reading
By Ben Van Dongen
The alarm on my watch buzzed and beeped. I had a fuzzy recollection of setting it the night before, but at six in the morning, I couldn’t figure out why. Another hour, or dozen, of sleep would have felt amazing, but I relented and got up. I had a cot in a little room of the space I’d rented a few months prior – another fuzzy decision. There weren’t any windows in the room, so I was shocked to see snow on my way to the bathroom.
The building was on a little side street – glorified alley – called Maiden Lane. The scene was undisturbed, picturesque, and unwelcome at such an early hour. I had originally thought of the space for the detective agency because it was sleazy and run down when I was a kid. I figured it would be perfect, but in the years since I’d been there, the area was transformed into a hipster’s paradise. It was a Mecca of fashionable cafes, art studios, independent designers, and boutiques. I had a year lease though, so I tried to make the best of it. Continue reading
Andy opened his eyes, but wherever he was, it was too dark to see. He shivered, feeling the cold concrete beneath him. His stomach rumbled, then gurgled. A mouthful of vomit climbed his throat and he coughed, clearing the liquid away. It tasted like bile and it burned.
He struggled up, afraid of the spreading pool. The dark room was disorienting. Andy’s legs shook under him, his teeth chattered, and he had to throw up again. Continue reading
By Edele Winnie
Sherry first saw the note on her way into the laundry room. She rented one of the second floor units in an old house that had been broken up into six apartments. The units were small but nice- hard wood floors, big closets, and hot water radiator heating that really kept the place warm even in this exceptionally severe winter. She’d only been there for three months, but she liked it. Everyone was pretty quiet, all young professionals except for the old woman downstairs. She gave no trouble either- they put their rent cheques in envelopes and slid them under her door. Sherry couldn’t even remember her name.
Paul was more surprised by what he saw at the air field than by the appearance of Kate or the initial call that led to him going outside. A small rocket was sitting on the runway, standing almost as tall as the control tower. The tapered tip flowed into a tube shaped body, with a rounded bump in the middle and fins reaching down to the tarmac. Paul could see small structures surrounding the rocket that looked like everything it would need to actually fly. Thick tubes ran from the ship to the different structures, but he could only guess what they were for. Short buildings, that looked like quick military constructions, were in between where Paul stood and the rocket. When he and the little girl reached the edge of the field, six large men in gear that matched the girl’s, surrounded them. Continue reading
The night was cold. Paul thought he knew what to expect having made it through the day, but the reality of it was frightening. He had a hard time keeping his eyes open so he busied himself with keeping the fire going as strongly as possible. The movement kept his joints from stiffening in the deadly cold.
The girl had moved and was now in the arms of the mysterious woman. Paul wasn’t sure if it was from the cold or if the girl was starting to feel more comfortable, or if in sleep she forgot where she was. He tried to figure out his own feelings about Kate. He felt a mixture of distrust and camaraderie. She was friendly and he wanted her to be genuine. Paul tried to not think about it and kept working on the fire. Continue reading
Somehow it was colder out in the open. The sky gave the impression of a dull dusk and the open space felt like the arctic but Paul knew it was midmorning. He remembered the balmy breezes he used to enjoy only a few years earlier. He looked down at the girl and saw that she was shivering. He crouched down and made sure she was bundled up tightly.
“If we get moving we’ll warm up a bit, okay?” he said straightening up. The girl looked up at him but he couldn’t make out any expression through the scarf and hood. He started to move and she stayed with him. He knew that she couldn’t walk very quickly and he was in a hurry but he wanted to save carrying her for when he needed to so he could conserve his energy and make the deadline. Continue reading
The room was cold. Paul could see his breath billow out and fade away. He hadn’t been so close to the surface since the evacuation. With the sun dimming the surface was a cold inhospitable expanse. He couldn’t tell how close to the surface he actually was but the chill in the air along with the level of security in the halls told him he was closer than he would have liked.
He was in a sparse room. The walls were bare and Paul sat at one of the two simple metal chairs that were on either side of a metal table. There was nothing else in the room but the intermittent cloud of Paul’s breath. He sat quietly and wondered why he had been sent for. It had been nearly an hour, in Paul’s best guess, since he had been at his post in the filtration plant. He felt his bracelet buzz and went to the guard station. They directed him to the elevator and he was ushered into the room. Paul hoped his time was being counted but doubted it. Everyone had to take a rotating shift at the plants that provided the refugees with water, food, and air. Paul was debating asking someone if this counted towards his time when the door opened to a man dressed in a military uniform. Continue reading
The room was cold. Paul could see his breath billow out in the air and fade away. He hadn’t been so close to the surface since the evacuation. With the sun dimming the surface was a cold inhospitable expanse. He couldn’t tell how close to the surface he actually was but the chill in the air along with the level of security in the halls told him he was closer than he would have liked. Continue reading