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Introduction

Science fiction is any idea that occurs in the head and doesn't exist yet, and will change everything for everybody,
and nothing will ever be the same again. ~ Ray Bradbury

Here at Tell-Tale Press, we hope to entertain you with quality stories from talented writers around the world. Some stories may include graphic violence, erotica, or both. They have been indicated as such before the story begins. Thank you for joining us, and happy reading!

Creatures - Story 1 - 1:10th Scale by Lawrence Berry

Jeff powered through a yellow light that had gone stale, made a right turn onto a mostly clear boulevard, put the pedal down and zoomed seven blocks, making a four-wheel slide onto Gearwork Avenue. He could see the destination ahead, Hive Cybernetics. A giant half-human, half-robot creature stood over the entrance, the glass doors between its legs. There was a delivery truck from Spirits Mobile parked in the loading zone, which meant that he’d have to double park and probably deal with an angry driver, also on a short management leash.


***
Jeff loaded three crates of electronics on his dolly and wheeled Hive Cybernetics’ order down the ramp, pushing it to the NO ADMITTANCE sign. He buzzed for entry and shouted, “Wizard Electronics Supply!” Every company in the Hazard Hill Technological Park was a fiend for security. He waited impatiently, counting down the minutes like his boss would want him to, then buzzed again. He heard someone’s office phone chime somewhere in the black space behin…

Creatures - Story 2 - Trill by K.L. Nappier

I don’t know why Grace started trolling me. But she liked going really old-school. No Instagram. No Snapchat. They were too traceable, too temporary, and, anyway, she wanted every kid at Lonedell Middle to see it happen, not just my friends or hers. So she went vintage PS, taping her “artwork” on my locker several times a week.

I met Hunter as I was ripping down her latest masterpiece. Some stupid scrawl of a baby pooping in the middle of a playground. My head was ‘shopped onto it, along with scolding words that read, “Gabbie!? Ewwww!”

I was hunched over the paper, shredded and balled in my hands, but I could see him from the corner of my eye. He came up behind while everyone else whispered, laughed, and moved on.

“You’re Gabbie, right?”

All I could do was nod. I couldn’t even face him. He didn’t seem to mind, though.

He said, “That kinda thing really sucks.”

I managed another nod just before the bell rang for second period, and he said, “So... I gotta go.”

We didn’t have classes together, b…

Creatures - Story 3 - Rat-King by Elana Gomel

You are supposed to love your children. Even if you can’t.

It is the most shameful secret a mother can hide. You can be a porn addict, or a junkie, or a cheater. You come clean, you confess, you go into therapy. Everything is forgiven, and you are praised for your “bravery.” Except for this. There are no rehabs for bad mothers, no therapy and no forgiveness.

But was I a bad mother? Kyle never lacked for anything. He had all the “interventions” his condition warranted. He had a coach and a physical therapist, even though there was nothing physically wrong with him. He had weekly psychological sessions. Jack and I had tried to get a pet for him, hoping to melt the barrier that an accident of birth had erected between our son and the rest of humanity. I don’t like dogs but I cradled an enthusiastic puppy, demonstrating to Kyle the pleasure of physical contact. He was terrified. This is why when he told me about his new best friend, the Rat-King, I was happy. I thought an imaginary friend s…