Everyone’s had THAT day—the one where a spell went south, a glitch ate some code in the doomsday device, and aliens are on the move eat your brains. Okay, maybe we haven’t all had thatday. In What Went Wrong?, fifteen authors give us stories of the best-laid plans gone awry.
*A unlucky cult that just can’t catch a break in their efforts to please the Elder Gods.
*A new hire trying to survive an office where the HR is full of headhunters, literally.
*A supervillain who gets unwanted attention from a love-struck hero.
* An irritated Lord of Hell whose hundred-year absence has left him a little behind the times.
*A college student who finds his fear of the dark may be warranted.
From humorous to horrific and everything in between, this selection of tales is certain to make any day look a little bit better.
- Expected publication: May 17th 2016
- Pages: 157
By Holly Riordan
“I want to test it first, to see if it’s safe,” my aunt said, unfolding the place mats and flipping through them. “Which one wouldn’t you want?”
“We never really did much for Easter. Try using that one.”
“Sounds good to me.” She plucked it from the pile and a smiling bunny face stared up at us. Its fur and little pink nose filled the entire mat, except for a black box in the lower left-hand corner, which held a signature line.
I nudged the knife with my knuckles, hoping she’d pick it up and slice without wasting precious minutes trying to prepare herself for the pain.
That’s exactly what she did. She swept the knife across her skin, like she’d done it hundreds of times before. Like she was as used to seeing blood as the man in the booth.
“I guess this is my temporary goodbye,” she said as she dipped a pinky into the blood and wrote out the year she wanted. She chose 2008, the same year I was planning on picking. The year before it had happened.
As soon as she finished drawing out the last number, her hands fell to her side. Her eyes rolled up. Her back arched. Then her body froze. I would’ve called an ambulance if I’d had a more innocent childhood, but I’d seen death before. This wasn’t it.
This was magic.
By Jonathan Shipley
Clare reached for her phone, pausing as she felt the sudden increase of increase of air pressure around her. “No, don’t,” she called, but already she saw the blue glow of the implant in Feodor’s temple. And McHenry was gone. Disappeared into thin air.
“Your heart,” she reminded Feodor as the blue faded. “You know it strains your heart every time you do that.” But he seemed all right for the moment — no shortness of breath or discoloration of the lips. She picked up the phone and dialed. “Where did you send him anyway?”
Feodor started to shrug, then winced at the pain in his arm. “About a half-mile down the beach,” he rasped. “He can be thankful that’s the limit of my range.”
Clare nodded absently and finished the call. A half-mile hike would be nothing to McHenry once he got over the shock of the jump. As angry as Feodor was, it could have been a lot worse. A half-mile out to sea, for instance. Or straight up.
They had a word for it–translocation–because teleportation sounded too sci-fi. Feodor’s newly developing talent for relocating objects, his heart flutters–both directly connected to his ground-breaking research into trans-dimensional portals. He should never have used himself as a test subject for the control implant of the machine in the attic. Now it was to the point where this new translocation talent might be the death of him.