(Originally published in Uncle John’s Flush Fiction Anthology.)
The afterlife was arbitrary, Sam Fichtner decided. There was no Heaven or Hell, only one place. He’d had plenty of time to ponder since he crossed over. The Hereafter was filled with endless rows of clear domes like the one he occupied, a space of infinite size covered with a grid of cake platters. When people died, they were each partitioned into one of these domes, to spend the rest of eternity.
David Steffen is a writer, editor, and software engineer. He edits Diabolical Plots, which began publishing original fiction in 2015. He runs the Submission Grinder, a tool for writers to find markets for their work. He recently published The Long List Anthology, which is a collection of 21 stories from the longer Hugo Award nomination list last year. His own stories have been published in many nice places, including Escape Pod, Podcastle, Daily Science Fiction, and StarShipSofa.
Main Story: “Stone Works” by Claire Davon
(Originally published in Misunderstood.)
The unblinking statue returned Raffaello’s gaze.
It could never blink again. He wondered what the residents would think if they knew that their prized thousand-year-old marble statue was once a breathing human being. None of his creations had been visible from the Salerno building he’d been trapped on for seven centuries.
He knew the statue maker’s work. You didn’t forget the person who imprisoned you in stone.
“Take our picture?”
Raffaello turned and focused on the voice. It was a woman of around forty years old, although these days it was hard to tell. She had what Raffaello understood to be a camera thrust out. He had learned about cameras in the short time he had been freed, but he still had much to understand. The world had changed in seven hundred years.
Claire Davon has written on and off most of her life, starting with fan fiction when she was young. She writes across a wide range of genres, including romance, science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Currently based in Los Angeles, she spends her free time writing and doing animal rescue. Claire’s website is clairedavon.com.
About the Narrators:
Jack Calverly lives in Central London where he watches a very small patch of land struggle into gardenhood. In even quieter moments he has been known to narrate science fiction stories for Starship Sofa and horror stories for Tales to Terrify, and also hosted the now defunct Crime City Central podcast for its entire two-year run. He is a member of the T-Party genre writers’ group, another group called WINOS, and critters.org, and (having attended two online classes from the Odyssey Writing Workshops) is a member of the Odyssey online critique group. A testament to perseverance if nothing else. He lives online at jackcalverley.com where he watches a very small patch of website struggle into nethood.
Danny Kelly aka Shri Fugi Spilt was assembled from off-the-shelf components and deployed to a backwater planet for reasons that are not quite clear. He’s fully equipped with a palette of super powers that includes the ability to sleep almost anywhere, sustain optimal function by eating only leaves, and bridge time and space with just his voice. The stout of heart and keen of mind can travel with him to the hoary past and the almost future in the slightly explicit Daughter of Godcast podcast, all about the 11-year adventure making his scifi post-apocalyptic surreal romantic comedy featurette.