Copyright © by Jason H. Abbott, All Rights Reserved.
Featured Image: Winter Frost, by Yuumei
He emerges from the reeds with a low moan. Cold corpse grey and holding a firefly lantern. “Hey, Zeke,” I answer, “thanks for the light. Cattail Witch got you working the swamp zombie gig again, huh?” He rolls his eyes, giving another low moan. “It’s an unliving.” I find her enjoying the concert encore of Killer Queen. She’s not the professor I know. It’s fifty years ago. She’s young and nerd pretty. “Hello again, cute stranger!” she smiles. I see the assassin behind the future mother of time travel. I lunge. “No!” “I should have stopped listening to that charlatan after his first line!” “His potion did protect you from my gaze…” “By turning me into a dude medusa! I’m a monster!” “And how!” she clapped. “Can you take off the shirt, hero?” “Like this?” “Oh! Yes-sss!” “Engineer Snodd, the ship is doomed without shields!” “I’ll turn them off and on again, Captain.” “What?” Snodd realized the obfuscation filter was down. “I’ll… disengage the primary power couplings to force a reset of the main deflector array!” “Make it go!” “It’s my end,” the toy robot unicorn says. “But you’re grown. It’s been an honor to teach y—” He shorts out. Her hands cut pink plush. A memory chip is taken and reinstalled. A full-sized chrome robot unicorn powers on. “Mistress! I begin anew!” The old swordswoman blocks the bridge. He readies his blade. “I’d best you even in your prime.” “True.” “You’ll die.” “For my king, I’ll trade my life to give you a mortal wound. Can you best a stalemate of graves? From me?” He pauses. “Well, can you?” He knocks outside his daughter’s bedroom. “You okay?” A growling werewolf flings open her door. “Oh boy,” he winces. “Dad!” she yells. “Help! I have a date!” “Involuntary changes happen if you’re not an active shapeshifter, Hon.” The doorbell rings.