"He reached in and pulled out the rose. It had rotted in a matter of seconds, or so it seemed. The once lush, green stem had bent inward, drooping in his hand, and the red petals had mostly fallen off, save for a few that looked almost the color of dried blood. Peter's eyes stung with its beauty."
The Fiction Issue
Short fiction about, by and for gamers.
"The doctor leaned back in his chair and set the notepad on his lap. He had no desk. He found them antagonizing. 'Chuck, the real reason you are sitting here isn't because of an infraction. It's because it occurred to me when I got this report that last month you spent more time in the Dream World than on your job. That means that you had barely enough time for sleep and meals, let alone any kind of human interaction.'"
"He squeezed off a couple chaser missiles, and they bee-lined for the jetwash at the back of the closest manned fighter. They drew so close to each other their contrails mingled. The enemy pilot yanked his chicken switch, lurching into the air on his ejection seat. His plane flew apart, white smoke chasing metal fragments towards the ground. I caught the yellow dome of a parachute as we set our planes to return home.
"Griefer slid his kit aside on its articulated arm and straddled his seat for a moment. 'I probably should've taken that pilot out. That would've been harsh, huh?'"
"All eyes turned to the two empty desks next to Joey and Smith. They were part of one cubicle pod, and until a few days ago all the desks had occupants. Nobody ever talked about what happened to Leon and Uri. They just didn't show up the day after the last missed deadline. Anton packed up their stuff later that day and took it out in boxes. The long stretches of silence started then. By now, everyone had a lot of practice keeping their mouths shut."
"Looking down at the throng of people watching the army barricade the long, straight street below, Eric could see cyclists breathing on their cold hands in confusion, and inadequately clothed children huddling close to their parents for warmth. The cold was falling from the troposphere, through vortices created by the descending ship's braking thrusters. The invasion fleet was approaching Earth at incredibly high speed, and had fired its powerful decelerators as it entered the bottom layer of atmosphere two hours ago."