short story

*Short Stories is a ongoing collection of original weird and wonderful works from Nerd Bastards creative writing team. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoy dreaming them into being. 

All it takes is one drop of blood.

Cari yawned as she perused through her least favorite material, oceanic Selachimorpha. It was easy to roll her eyes as the video notes explained more on the subject. She never quite understood her mother’s fascination with fish-eyed, sharp-toothed predators. Half her notes were on the creatures, despite the fact that all known Earth permutations had died out decades ago. Large predators had a hard time around aggressive, invasive species with two long legs.

After that sixth extinction, Earth was no place to be a zoologist. That’s why Dr. Zahn, her mother, took to the stars. Cari had grown up marveling at new species, falling in love with the small avian herbivores that lived in forests, flying gracefully with wide eyes like hers.

Yet her mother always held some strange reverence of these violent predators. Killers. Monsters. Cari learned the facts, observed and recorded dutifully, but they both knew she’d never feel anything but ambivalence.

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Clarity: A Sci-Fi Short Story

The baby’s veins were pounding against Emma’s heart, against her eyes. It was breathless, the way her tiny body moved with each tiny muscle in a way that was almost beautiful. Past her child’s curled hands Emma could see her heart, actually see it. Arteries and everything. It was beating frantically in her tiny chest. To see her daughter this way made Emma feel she held that heart, squeezed it, forced it to pump and live.

Emma couldn’t touch her, though. A glass crib separated her daughter’s tiny body from her warm arms. Watching her baby wriggle from inside out, through paper thin, nigh-invisible skin, begged Emma to cradle her and love her and protect her from an uneasy world. The electronic buzzing around her head tried to drown her thoughts, to drown her love for her baby, but it was useless against the power of a mother’s adoration. This little one wasn’t just a child, she was hers.

She coughed and Emma trembled, she smiled and she cooed. The young mother wanted more than anything to touch her skin and know, for certain, that she was real. Yet she was too fantastical to touch, even for her mother.

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