a. Imperfect of form, a tripartite creation of human, hawk, & koi, the strives to make the most of her allotted span, in turn a flyer in azure heights or swimmer in green deeps, and in between she struggles in the sanatorium to paint-by-numbers w/ fin and talon.
b. The cells fused & multiplied before the lens & the genetic mix of E. coli, mosquito, and tsetse fly crawled from the petrie dish. His thumb flexed over the winged chimera, a self-delivering lethal weapon. Either way, it was murder. (40)
c. FAE: Wings lamed by thorns, her heart a tom-tom, she scrabbled up the scree bare yards ahead of Hunter & his hound whose fangs slipped thru fae flesh like razors. Trapped atop the cliff, she sang for her vassals. In fury & thirst they came for blood.
d. Whatever the science of it, she’s lived for millennia & saved the residue of each joy & danger inside fragments of leaf or linen. 1st, the bundle filled her arms, then a barrow, now a wobbly grocery cart. Unwrapped, a shred of the past comforts her w/ hot tears. (42)
e. The shifting silver sheen of a myriad fae wakes the girl hiding in a rowboat, nameless victim escaped from a thriller and fallen into a fantasy. The long diaphanous wings of fae cut her face like nails, but she expected trouble. Mace will dull their shine.
a. Eaze blunts the anxiety & I sack out, a level B miner on my 15th cloning & no rebel. Tho genes do go rogue they say. My Sensitive spoons with me; this Matt Model favors my ex-husband whose genes perished on Homeworld. Matt’s AI’s corrupted but I’m game.
b. The shipbound High Lord provides his rare-earth miners w/ every necessity. Much beloved are the opportunity trees whose giant bubble fruit allows any daring soul to enter & be lofted into his awesome presence. As his emissaries, they rule the galaxy.
c. Nitric acid couldn’t bit thru her boots and survival gear lay heavy on her back. No way to move fast under the night’s pelting rain but she needed shelter before sunrise, before the scent of petrichor rose from the wasteland & the sun rendered her a column of ash. (54)
a. Bonfires of the slaughtered bodies smoldered, smoke impenetrable, & stink so foul & otherworldly Zara had no name for it. Whipping movements caught her eye, for where fire failed, human flesh was become ground zero to alien terror.
b. Zara’s energy is low, and Mom rushes her to Dr. ***, a hero medic of WWIII whose care is exceptional but whose telomeres are fatally short. She analyzes Zara’s bio samples in her lab, diagnoses epigenetic distress, not the wasting plague! And prescribes hormones.
SHORT MYSTICAL/POSSESSION: Panto season draws all homeless emotions but by far the keenest is Anguish, the audience so caught up in the razzle-dazzle absurdity the target is unaware of the osmosis of possession. Hoping the kids are asleep, Mary unlocks the door to a blood splatter horror.
HOME: Coal-fire warmth & a pall of cigarette smoke w/ news buzz on TV. Dad lights up & watches a newscaster while I’m in an armchair, legs wrapped around Mam in front. My cheek rests on the Persil-scented cotton of her dress as, one by one, she snips my toenails.
a. EVICTION: Missy is quick in the figurative sense, her twin sister dead, head-shell cracked like a soft-boiled when Missy pushed her downstairs 50 years ago. Missy & the ghost dwell in bitter acrimony in an apt in Papa’s house, where he haunts the upper floor bordello.
b. THE KILLING: The vivid bustle of daily life had dimmed in an instant to dreary gray, a sense of sleepwalking thru a bladed mist, moist & cutting. Shrouded and hurt, she wound thru a cemetery’s store of forgotten tombstones until, at last, she lay in her own fresh-dug grave.
LOST DOG: A vicious stinging rain soaking thru your Burberry right off the bat, and you should’ve worn wellies, but the dog’s run off & he’s a dope in traffic. Hours you roam, find a shivering mat of fur in a shop doorway. Nose to nose, the statics shocks you both.
PHILADELPHIA: That part of the city had been a white-flight casualty, w/ its vacant factories & lots overgrown w/ garbage trees & rubble. But even before gentrification the dour frontage of rowhouses might hide postage-stamp paradises of peony, river-stone pond, and gnarled wisteria.
SERVITUDE: The guilty verdict condemns the blanket thief to transportation. Sickness and maggoty food near kill her, & in the colony it’s field labor ‘mid the slaves. But she dwells in paradise, cosseted by warmth & fragrance & gold-eyed Sampson’s nectar kisses.