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Latest Stories

September 25, 2021
General Stories NT Franklin

Coming Home

While Rupert paced in the parking lot, a cool spring breeze went down the back of his neck and made him shiver. Or was the shiver from having to go into the boss’s office? He had issues with male authority figures, or so his last work-ordered therapist had…
September 25, 2021
Flash Fiction Sandeep

Space Age Agency

Today I want to write about a nice story about OutSpace Consulting Pvt Ltd. that hired me to work for a Space Age Aeronautics Frontier (SAAF). To create a new vehicle and technology for managing their database, missions, research and exploration endeavors.…
September 13, 2021
General Stories Kasimir Kozlowski

An Understanding

1 The sharp halogen beams of the Greyhound bus cut a swath of light across the white frozen tundra of the flatlands nearing a small town outside of Winnipeg, and the passengers are beginning to get a little restless. Henry also stirs to life. He’s been…
September 13, 2021
Fantasy Stories Abdulla Ameen

That Memorable Quest

Beneath the starlit sky, which not only had that dark blue shade but also a purple tone, with stars lying flat on the vivid plain, was the cavern he chose to spend the night. The hillside was riskier in the dark and that was the only thought that made him…
September 13, 2021
Crime Stories Benoit


Marseille Synopsis Carmine Diop was looking for the Fast Lane; instead, he met his Maker. A mistake, a sin. The wages of sin are death for beautiful Annette and her boyfriend Youbai. Dust to dust. Marseille Every city has its specialties, including Marseille.…
September 05, 2021
General Stories Barbara Dolan


She watched him from a distance, wondering if she should, how she should, approach him. Flying to San Francisco from Southern California, Alice took a bus north to the small town on the Russian River, a town she had never heard of, nor had she seen it on any…
September 05, 2021
Flash Fiction Richard Sanders


“Sir.” With Slayer blaring in his ears, Madison is in his own world scrolling through Twitter. His head is throbbing. He’s had a long week of school and work, not a lot of time for leisure. This is the first date Jordan and he have been on in weeks. He’s…
August 13, 2021
Fantasy Stories André Gouyneau

The Great Leap

Mike River, the owner of the Artificium Gallery situated on New York’s Fifth Avenue, was waiting for Glen Dinano. The brief message from the artist had fueled his imagination. The title – The Great Leap of Ronald McDonald – seemed catchy and he liked this…
August 13, 2021
General Stories Marco

Today's The Day

Still half asleep, Patricia opened her eyes and glanced at the alarm clock. Too early. Next to her, Joe slept soundly. She tried to doze but the excitement struck her. One last hurdle, then bliss, it will all be over. Today our lives change forever. She…
August 11, 2021
Romance Stories Barbara E. Dolan

Desert Fires

The flickering yellow light from the candles seemed to wrap the table in a kind of floating gauze. Her head felt light from too much wine, and it seemed that her body was covered in a warm, soft blanket. They had shared many dinners with Michael and Denise,…
August 11, 2021
Crime Stories NT Franklin

The Next Victim

Bobby put his coffee down as the two detectives walked up to his booth. “You should’ve been there today, boys. The divorce hearing at family court spiraled to new lows.” “Whoa, slow down, Bobby, you’ll choke on that coffee.” Detective Rush smiled when he…
August 09, 2021
Fantasy Stories Azahra Dea A

Meant To Be

It was Saturday morning, wind blew softly through her hair. She was enjoying a frappuccino at a café, yet she was losing her mind as she knew there was a room full of chaos inside of her. It was like a broken compass and she wedged there, screaming for help…

The appointment was at ten. She checked her watch. It was five to ten. Any moment now, her name would be called.

The baby wasn’t due for another six months, but she could already see how he – she was sure it was a he- would look like. The square face, set jaw, hooked nose; exactly like his father. Alex. It had been nearly three years now since he was declared missing in action, and she still couldn’t shake off the feeling that he would be waiting at home when she returned, holding a cup of tea for her and with an impish grin on his face.

The nursebot’s voice brought her back from memory lane. It was standing at the end of the corridor, its faultless white steel matching that of the surrounding tiled walls. On the large screen positioned on its chest was a photo of hers and her name. It called out once again, in that mechanical female voice, “Sarah”.

Sarah got up. “Good morning, Madam” said the bot, “Please, follow me”. It turned 180 degrees on its wheels and rolled off. Sarah followed it and entered a short corridor, leading to the doctor’s room.

“What are you?” Sarah couldn’t resist asking. It was a little hobby of hers to ask that to every robot she had an opportunity to speak to.

“I’m Jenny”, it said not breaking stride-roll- “Issue number ISR1800928, Nursebot, manufactured by Robotronics United, Pune branch. Programmed with basic navigation, speech recognition and necessary cognitive abilities.”  Sarah felt satisfied.

They had reached the end of the corridor. The nursebot opened the door and led her in.

Dr. Della was seated behind her desk, going through the giant monitor placed to her left. She was dark skinned woman, wearing a starch white lab coat, a stethoscope hanging around her neck. (Sarah couldn’t help thinking that the stethoscope was possibly the only instrument to have survived the brunt of time.) She had known Dr. Della ever since she had approached her seven months ago for the Intra Uterine Artificial Embryo Implantation procedure using Alex’s stem cells. Approached her for the baby. For Alex.

“Good morning Sarah” Della smiled brightly as she shook hands with her, and turning to the nursebot said, “Jenny, send me Sarah’s results.” The nursebot turned to leave.

“So,” she asked, “how’s the baby coming along?” Sarah smiled indulgently.

“I think he is going to be a naughty boy” she said, Della chuckled. An awkward moment of silence followed, neither knowing what to say. Sarah looked out of the window to her right. The charred remains of her city after the Great War greeted her. It no longer scared her.

It was Sarah who finally broke the silence.“I’m actually tensed doctor. What if the EFST results…” she trailed off.

“Don’t worry Della. I’ve already told you about this. The media is just exaggerating the entire thing. Only about one in a thousand live births are disallowed on basis of the test. You needn’t worry.”

“But Della, you know, forcing an abortion on basis of a test…” she was cut off by a sharp beep from the monitor.

“Lets know firsthand”, said Della smiling broadly as she clicked open the email which had Sarah’s test result. Sarah felt a shiver running up her spine.

Della kept on smiling as she scrolled through the results, giving a running commentary, “All organs are fully formed, no external deformities, heart, liver, kidney check; blood count normal, IQ ratio 7, he’s intelligent, it’s a he by the way”, Sarah felt a small smile creeping to her lips as Della continued, “Genetic quotient. Basic amino structure normal, pyridines and pyrimidines check. Nucleotide analysis. Melanin formation 68%, cancer risk 13%, asthma 12.44%, all within range and heart node dysfunction…” Della was suddenly quiet, her face became grave, and in a small voice she added, “83.55%.”

Sarah felt like someone had run an iron rod through her. Over the past few weeks she had agonized over all these values, and knew the acceptable values by heart. It was 45% for HND. Her baby had failed the EFST.

“I am sorry Sarah.” Della said in a quiet voice, not making eye contact with her, “We have to abandon the baby.”

Sarah felt the adrenaline rushing through her. Panic. Fear. Desperation.

“Della, please. I’m sure we can work this out. He… he has a twenty percent chance of making it.” Della was slowly shaking her head, Sarah was pleading, “Please Della, there is a way. I’ll rush him to the hospital if he so much as sneezes. Please Della. Please.”
“I’m sorry Sarah,” Della repeated, “You know the rules. The society doesn’t have enough resources to take such a risk. The War drained us to an extent we didn’t anticipate and we are running out of fuel and food way too fast. You know all this; you know that is why the Embryo Fitness Screening Test was introduced in the first place. Try to understand.”

Sarah was standing now, one hand protectively placed over her womb. There were tears in her eyes. “Please Della. We’ve known each other for so long. You know me. You know, he’s all I have, all I’m living for.”

“I’m sorry Sarah.” said Della once again as the door flew open and two Securitybots came rushing in. Their stainless steel muscles easily secured Sarah, lifted her and strapped her onto a nearby bed. She was kicking and screaming all the while.

“Don’t worry Sarah” said Della as she filled a syringe with a yellowish liquid from a bottle, “we shall erase all your memories of the baby, remove all the unnecessary hormones from your body. You wouldn’t even remember there was such a child.”

“Please Della, please” Sarah was shouting, struggling pointlessly against the straps which held her, the straps which had held countless others before her. Tears were flowing freely down her face.

“Please Della, don’t you have heart?”

“No Sarah, I don’t. I follow the rules.” Della pushed the syringe to let the air out.

“WHAT ARE YOU?” Sarah screamed at her as Della came closer, the syringe poised and ready.

“I am Della” she replied, “Issue number ISR10089842, Doctorobot, manufactured by Robotronics United, Pune branch.” She-it- looked Della in the eye before continuing, “Programmed with advanced motor skills, communications, AI, and emotional response. Programmed to follow logic. Not the heart.”

Sarah felt the sting of the needle.




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