Copyright © by Jason H. Abbott, All Rights Reserved.
Featured image art generated by Jason H. Abbott using A.I. and his own editing and compositing.
“Whatever happened to the Wunderkind?” “The super boy from the future sent back to save it? He was actually an agent of a future global totalitarian regime, placed to ensure their fascist timeline is inevitable.” “So, there’s no hope.” “No, there’s one: He rebelled.” Tam eyed the school from the car. “I don’t want to! I can’t stand it.” Her father hugged her. “I’m a freak now. Everyone’s staring!” “Different package, same you.” The possum headed girl became tearful. “Will I still have friends?” “Yes. The real ones.” Elizabeth concentrated. “I, can feel them.” “Good,” Isabella said. The marbles wobbled. “Am I doing it?” “Look!” Elizabeth opened her eyes to marbles orbiting her fingers. “See, Ms. Crenshaw?” her fourth-grade student grinned. “You have magic too, like me!” I can’t see it whole. Alabaster oil fills the dusty tank in university storage. Through milky white, I glimpse a cephalopodan eye for a moment. A tendril. A woman’s black lips on the glass mouthing my name before a lick and retreat. I raise the ax in my hand. The magenta battle-bot plays its audio clip. “Prepare for trouble—” “Make it double!” its lavender companion finishes with its own sample. The old O-B-1 unit they encircle gives a hydraulic sigh. Its plasma blade ignites neon blue, and “Binary Sunset” plays… In the dim of the school backroom, the children uncovered a hole in the wall behind musty encyclopedias. “Ghoul anything?” Aaron asked. Tabitha sniffed. “Vampire stink.” “Explore it?” She grabbed her Rainbow Brite flashlight, he the wooden stakes. Anastasia takes her father’s hand. “Papa, we must run!” “Is it a White Army rescue?” the Tsar asks. A figure grabs a screaming Bolshevik rebel, its hunched back’s skin stretched diaphanous over a coiled worm. “No,” she says. “The things from Tunguska!”