Special Sampler

Special Sampler: Editor's Choice

The Letter by James K. Bowers (one of our judges)
A New Taste Sensation by K. Schwyn (another judge)
Show, Don't Tell by Lyn Perry (that's me)
Butterfly by Stephanie Schauer (a judge)
The Colors Story by Selena Thomason (a guest)


by James K. Bowers

"I told you before, Marcie. It’s a waste of time. He’ll never read it."

"Of course he will. When he gets back."

"Right. And this will benefit either of you...how?"

"I’m not sure, Karyn, I just had to write it. Think about it—a trip to the stars! How could I stand in the way of his dreams? I know he’ll still be young when he gets back, and I’ll be centuries dead. But he has to know and I had to tell him."

"Oh, Marcie. You do love him, don’t you…"

"Yes, I do. Let’s go...we’ll miss the launch."

© 2007 James K. Bowers
Originally published at SkyTribe.
Reprinted with permission.

James K. Bowers, an obsessed but infrequent writer of science fiction and fantasy, has written several things longer than his own name, usually at the insistence of friends wielding cattle prods. He is the founder of The Herscher Project.


by K. Schwyn

Lengthy experimentation helped Kenarp determine that a five-day brine and vinegar soaking worked perfectly to remove hair and make the package soft and creamy. His manufacturing process would now be able to churn through over one hundred packages per hour; creating thousands of glistening tubs of spreadable ecstasy. Unimaginable wealth would soon be his.

Incredible! Despite past abductions, extensive probing and thorough experimentation, earlier planetary visitors had never considered the indigenous species as a cash crop. Now, after Kenarp’s fortuitous discovery, human butter had become the latest intergalactic delicacy!

© 2007 K. Schwyn
Originally published August 15, 2007 in Flashshot
Reprinted with permission.

K. Schwyn resides in the Midwest and has been reading horror and science fiction forever. This is his first ever fiction submission and he offers a huge thank you to Michael Arnzen for offering this Twisted Prompt on his Gorelets website.


by Lyn Perry

“Read to me what you’ve channeled so far,” she says.

I clear my throat. Death and destruction await the one…

“Cliché.” My muse frowns. “What else?”

I fumble at my manuscript and turn a page. Blindly, the Mummy exits the tomb…

“Derivative,” she says.

“But these are your ideas!” I protest.

“My ideas. Your anemic attempts.”

“This is my first stab at horror,” I rationalize.

“Ah, then,” she nods. “First rule of fiction—write what you know.”

“Could you tell me how?” I ask.

My muse produces a stiletto. “Here, let me show you instead.”

© 2007 Lyn Perry
Originally published August 21, 2007 in MicroHorror.

Lyn Perry is the publisher of Residential Aliens, a zine for speculative fiction with a spiritual foundation.


by Stephanie Schauer

The chrysalis broke open, webs of goo dripping to the branch. She struggled out of the cocoon now too small to hold her body. Tiny hands and feet left wet prints on twigs and leaves as she righted herself. Her wings beat, slowly at first, then faster and faster into a blur of colour as the sun dried them; they flashed with all the colours of the rainbow. She took tentative steps to the edge of the branch and stretched her arms and wings wide. She jumped...

Snap! into the waiting mouth of the green spotted toad.

© 2007 Stephanie Schauer

Stephanie Schauer is a member of The Herscher Project and signs every post with, "Growing old is compulsory, growing wise is optional."


by Selena Thomason

Her thoughts were gray. Her world bland, lifeless.

Anger and Depression swirled together. Locked in a wrestler's embrace, they ignored everything else. Her gray mood moved through blue, into a dangerous black.

As the wrestlers tore at each other, seeking only the destruction of themselves—and her—something unexpected happened. Someone threw a bouquet of bright flowers into the ring. The wrestlers released each other and backed away, surprised.

She hesitated, then picked up the flowers. Anger and Depression, left unnoticed, faded away. She took in the fragrance and cacophony of colors; and realized she was feeling fairly fuchsia.

© 2007 Selena Thomason
Originally published earlier this year in Flashshot
Reprinted with permission.

Selena Thomason is the Managing Editor for Dragons, Knights & Angels magazine and the upcoming MindFlights magazine.