Flash Fiction: “The Choochoomorphosis” by Oliver Buckram
(Originally published in Unidentified Funny Objects 3.)
As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed into Neville, the Crime-Fighting Locomotive. Neville was a funny little blue engine with six small wheels and a stumpy smokestack. He lived in the Big Station with the other steam engines of the Happyville Railroad, and spent his days cheerfully bustling up and down the railroad tracks, solving crimes and getting into mischief.
Oliver Buckram Ph.D., lives in the Boston area where (under an assumed name) he teaches social science to undergraduates. His work has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Interzone, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (F&SF), among other places. Find out more about him at oliverbuckram.com.
Main Story: “The Mermaid’s Purse” by Lynn Hardaker
(Originally published in Cabinet des Feés’ Scheherezade’s Bequest: Something Rich and Strange.)
“Look, Mummy, I’ve found another one.” The girl came running over. Claire watched her daughter with quiet detachment. Combing the beach for shells and feathers and mermaids’ purses was one of Lily’s favourite things to do.
Her polka-dotted rubber boots made her steps awkward, but she didn’t seem to notice.
With a look of triumph, she dropped the mermaid’s purse into Claire’s lap then pirouetted away, her long red hair catching the sea-wind as she ran back to the shore.
Without taking her eyes off the girl, Claire picked up the purse, feeling the smooth black casing under her finger tips. Once, in a moment of doing what she thought a mother ought to do, she had told Lilly that they were actually cases for the eggs of skates or sharks. Lilly refused to believe it.
Claire looked at the one she had now, alien and beetle-like. She squeezed it gently. Empty.
“Mummy,” Lily had reappeared suddenly, “I think there’s one out there.” She pointed to the silver-gilded waves.
Lynn Hardaker is a Canadian writer and artist currently living in Regensburg, Germany. Her poems and short stories have appeared in such journals as Mythic Delirium, Scheherezade’s Bequest, and Goblin Fruit. She’s this close to finishing the third draft of her YA historical fantasy novel set in early 18th-century London. Her blog can be found at Beneath the Bracken.
About the Narrators:
Geoffrey Welchman writes, produces, and voices The Reigning Lunatic podcast, a medieval sitcom (and 2016 Parsec Awards finalist). He lives in Baltimore, Maryland. You can find him online at geoffreywelchman.com.
Summer Brooks is a bit of a television addict, and enjoys putting her sci-fi media geek skills to good use in interviewing guests. She had been a co-host for Slice of SciFi from 2005-2009, the co-host for The Babylon Podcast from 2006-2012, and host of Kick-Ass Mystic Ninjas, before returning to Slice of SciFi full time as host and producer in August 2014.
She is an avid reader and writer of scifi, fantasy and thrillers, with a handful of publishing credits to her name. Next on her agenda is writing an urban fantasy tale, and a B-movie monster extravaganza.
Currently, Summer designs and maintains websites for clients in addition to having fun with the Slice of SciFi websites, and also does voiceover & narrations for Tales to Terrify, StarShipSofa and Escape Pod, among others.