Free Fiction Friday

The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees

Author: E. Lily Yu

The terms of the relationship were copied out, at the wasps’ direction, on small paper plaques embedded in propolis and wax around the hive. As paper and ink were new substances to the bees, they jostled and touched and tasted the bills until the paper fell to pieces. The wasps sent to oversee the installation did not take this kindly. Several civilians died before it was established that the bees could not read the Yiwei dialect.

Thereafter the hive’s chemists were charged with compounding pheromones complex enough to encode the terms of the treaty. These were applied to the papers, so that both species could inspect them and comprehend the relationship between the two states.

Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station | Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0

Author: Caroline M. Yoachim

Inside the clinic, a message plays over the loudspeakers: “Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station, please sign your name on the clipboard. Patients will be seen in the order that they arrive. If this is an emergency, we’re sorry—you’re probably screwed. The current wait time is six hours.” The message is on endless repeat, cycling through dozens of different languages.

It Happened To Me: I Melded My Consciousness With the Giant Alien Mushroom Floating Above Chicago

Author: Nino Cipri

I came back to the city, ready for a new start. Chicago has survived worse than alien mushrooms. What’s a floating otherworldly fungus compared to the Chicago Fire, or Prohibition, or Rahm Emmanuel? Once it became clear that Amanita was inactive, she became just another place you took out-of-towners to when they dropped in to visit, if you didn’t want to spring for tickets to the Field Museum. Nobody looks up in cities, except for tourists.

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