Short Stories by Kate Heartfield

archives-issue3Title: Word for Word

Published: May 2013 in Waylines Magazine, Issue 3

Genre: Fantasy-ish

Length: 5 pages

Setting: a random city, present day

Interest: It was included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: Have you every wished you could talk back something you said? Sam has a Box that let’s him do just that. If he types up the words exactly on the typewriter that came with the Box, the words are erased from everyone’s memories, including his own. Turns out, without those memories, you can’t grow as a person and Sam’s pretty much a dick. He finally realizes that, and takes all his memories out of the Box.

Final thoughts: Interesting enough, especially the idea that without those painful memories you can’t actually grow and improve as a person.

Title comes from: Sam had to write down his conversation word for word for the Box to make everyone forget the words.

2013-08

Art by Melissa Mead

Title: For Sale by Owner

Published: August 2013 in Daily Science Fiction

Genre: Fantasy-ish

Length: 11 pages

Setting: a house on the Ridge, present day

Interest: It was included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: Ron has lived in his house on the Ridge for years and years. The Ridge is the favorite location for suicide attempts, and Ron has taken it upon himself to try to persuade anyone attempting suicide to reconsider. He’s not always successful, but that’s OK. However, he’s ready to be done with his job and he thinks he’s found his successor in Ajay.

Final thoughts: An interesting story, with the only fantastic element the fact that Ron has lived over 150 years.  Ajay is one of the suicide attempts, but Ron gives him purpose and a reason to keep on living in taking his place in the house on the Ridge.

Title comes from: The house on the Ridge had a sign out front, “For Sale by Owner” as Ron looked for someone to take his place.

Title: A Pair of Ragged Claws

Published: April 2013 in Black Treacle

Genre: fantastical horror

Length: 10 pages

Setting: a dance club, present day

Interest: It was included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: Giant, sentient Scorpions have appeared on Earth and they’ve started to participate in human society, including making music. Rona is at a dance club where a Scorpion band is playing and she wants more than anything to be part of that band. She has that wish when the singer for the band takes her backstage and Rona learns how humans “develop” the ability to talk to Scorpions.

Final thoughts: This was definitely the creepiest of the stories. It seems the Scorpions get bored easily with their human translators, and once you’re linked to the Scorpions, only death will sever those ties. Rona gets what she wants, the chance to tour with a Scorpion band, but it certainly isn’t a long-term job.

Title comes from: When the Scorpion grabbed Rona with its claws, it marked up her arms with its ragged claws.

 

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