Category: Stories

From Within

From Within

Short Story: Science Fiction, Future, Androids, Robots, Artificial Intelligence.

Release date:  21 December 2023

In a future where humans are on the brink of extinction, the dominant androidic species faces its own kind of cataclysmic updates from the mainframe.

Anthology: House of Zolo’s Journal of Speculative Literature Volume 4

Editors: Erika Steeves and Nihls Andersen

Publisher: House of Zolo

Out now! House of Zolo | Goodreads |



Flash story: Science fiction.

Release date: 15 August 2023

This flash fiction piece is part of Paranatellonta‘s 10th anniversary. Twice a month, Paranatellonta publishes one piece of flash fiction (of exactly ten sentences) inspired by a piece of visual artwork.

Refuge‘s inspiration artwork is provided by Fie, while Scrutiny by Minerva Cerridwen is the other half of this event (art by Ava). More about the event here.

Out now! Read it here.

Banner for the story "Refuge" as part of the Paranatellonta 10-year celebration. On the left side of this low, wide rectangle is a detail from a photo of redcurrants. The background of the rest of the banner is black with the number "360" in a large brown font. At the top, red letters spell out "Paranatellonta - 10 years", and below, the title "Refuge" is written in large, pale-pink capital letters, with "by Ava Kelly - art by Fie" to the right of it in half the font size.

Take Your Seat

Take Your Seat

Flash story: Speculative, Liminal Spaces, Abstract Worlds, Fantasy.

Release date: 22 May 2023

“For what felt like eons, Nicky traveled, a clandestine scoundrel with a grudge against the rules of the train.”

Konstrukjon 25: Transoughts

Out now! Event page |

Artwork “Take Your Seat” by Ava Kelly, 2023, photography, digital painting.

Earthbound Nebula

Earthbound Nebula

Flash story: Science Fiction, Space, Earth, Post-apocalyptic, Time Travel.

Release date: August 2021

“When it approached, it was slow. Passive enough to get close, unencumbered by human worry, graceful enough that its scarlet brilliance had exalted awe instead of fear.”

Orchid’s Lantern Flash Showcase

Out now! Story online

Alia Terra: Stories from the Dragon Realm

Alia Terra: Stories from the Dragon Realm

Alia Terra: Stories from the Dragon Realm – a book of three all-ages queer fairy tales highlighting nonbinary characters, aromanticism, and personal acceptance from Atthis Arts. Written by me, illustrated by Matthew Spencer and edited by E.D.E. Bell, these stories in English and Romanian hold a message very dear to me: Our happiness is our own.

Pre-oder a copy here! If your inner dragon, wants some hoard, we have art carts, Romanian bookmarks, a custom D20 die and many other goodies.

We appreciate sharing this project! Thank you.

Savior of Humanity

Savior of Humanity

savior of humanity artwork: black/white photograph of a gloved hand manipulating an analog vintage ampermeter

January 2021 free fiction (science fiction, post-apocalypse). For the Patreon post, click here.

*** *** ***

Hands, shaking. Blade, sharp.

“No. No, don’t come closer.” Stop, please.


“Do you remember?”

Morr gives Kate a look. Nobody remembers anything anymore. Well, nothing from before the world turned itself upside down. Metaphorically.

“No, not that,” Kate says, waving a hand. “Do you remember when we woke up? All that confusion? None of us knowing where we were… who we were?”

Down below, at the foot of the hills, the evening stretches in celebration. The crops have been plentiful this year, and, on top of that, Kate and Jay finally managed to revive the power plant sitting up the river. They have electricity now, a better water filtration system, and sure heating for the winter.

Morr clutches at the grass and digs his heels into the earth. Many times he thought they wouldn’t make it, but their settlement has survived, against all odds. The mere thought constricts Morr’s chest with affection.

These are his people.

“I remember,” he says. “We were all so furious, though, at the ones that caused it. What were they thinking? How could they look upon the world and decide that this… this miraculous diversity needed stifling? And what were they going to do, program us all to conform?”

Kate pats his arm.

“I just don’t get where that hatred came from,” Morr whispers, more for himself than her. “Anyway. What were you going to say?”

“Nothing important.” Kate shakes her head with a smile. “Guess I was reminiscing.”

Voices reach them, mirthful, beckoning to join the dancing. Morr lets himself easily convinced, brimming with joy. They really made it. Twelve years after the worldwide event that had wiped everyone’s memory and left them without infrastructure or support or families.


“It is our duty to preserve purity,” the man on the screen says. “Our sacred honor and mission to rid the world of imbalance. How can they demand equality when it is clear they are not our equals?”


“Equilibrium can only be reached one way: similarity. Convert those who can be saved, rip away those who cannot.”


Someone screams, nearby. His throat is raw but someone screams and he can’t stop it. Must stop it.


Kate watches Morr run down the hill with the others, laughter echoing under the darkening sky. A shuffle of skirts accompanies Jay as they sit next to her.

“He’s really outdone himself, hasn’t he?” Jay says.

“Yes. He loves this community deeply and genuinely.”

“Good. Can’t wait to see his face. We’re doing it at midnight, right?”

Kate hums, lying down. The stars will be bright tonight.

Justice served.

Time passes, slow and steady, and despite their words, Jay curls into a ball, hugging knees to chest. “What if… Kate, what if we don’t say anything. Look how much we’ve accomplished already.”

“And what? Let him be happy?” Kate spits it, but somehow it lacks the usual bitterness. She groans and covers her face with her palms.

“Would that be so bad? He’s redeemed himself.”

“It’s not redemption if he doesn’t know why. He needs to make the right choices not for himself, but for others, and not expect forgiveness.” She sits up, places a hand on Jay’s neck in an attempt to comfort. “No one else remembers but us, and we cannot forgive him, Jay.”

“But that man is gone. You’re talking about punishing the son for the sins of the father.” A grimace. “Sort of.”

“What brought this on? Yesterday you were all in.”

Jay shrugs, fingers twisting in the material of their skirt. “This morning.”

Nothing follows and, as Jay’s silence stretches, Kate realizes she doesn’t want to know. It’s probably something she should, though, if it’s shaken Jay this much.

“This morning,” she nudges.

“Bennie’s kid is turning ten next week and they’re supposed to choose pronouns to go by. Caught them on the verge of panic because of it, even though it’s no big deal. First choice is not final choice, right?”

Kate nods, running her palm down Jay’s spine.

“But, well, anxiety is a thing and the kid was worried they’d choose wrong.”

“And you explained I assume.”

Jay shakes their head. “Morr got there before I did, so I stayed hidden and listened in. Kate,” —they turn, a sharp inhale— “you should’ve heard him. He put as much passion in that reassurance as he did b-before.”

“When he called for our deaths.”

Jay nods with a sniffle.


The hummed song bounces off the walls with his descent. Kate and Jay’s anniversary is tomorrow and Morr has prepared the best present for them. A book they’d talked about for years and couldn’t find in traveling distance. Morr clutches it, happy with the treasure he’s been saving for the past few weeks.

In the main room of the underground bunker that used to be their shelter, a door is open. A secret door? Morr steps in, investigates equipment and monitors with curiosity, and then clicks—


It’s been almost two hours of them sitting on the grass in the chilling air, and Kate’s shivering.

“We promised each other,” she finally says, “that if we were in disagreement we wouldn’t push. We’d take the time to reconsider and re-examine.”


“All right, then. But the moment he shows any sign of hatred, I’m dragging him to the bunker and showing him the old video files.”

Jay looks at her, blinking. “Deal.” A pause. “Still wish we’d tell him. I want to see him suffer, but at the same time…” They sigh. “I can’t.”

“I get it. How about we wait another year? In the meantime we’ll keep a closer eye on him.”

“Sounds good.”

Kate drags herself up, then, bones creaking with age. “Let’s get down there and turn off all the equipment. We don’t want one of the children to be scarred for life.”


“What happened?” Head aching, heart pounding, breath shallow.

“The machine.” A cough. “It detonated.”

“But—wait, I still remember.”


“Everything. You?”

“Same.” Around them, the floor is scorched in thin concentric circles. “Must’ve had some safety bubble around itself, to protect whoever activates it.”

“So… what do we do now?”

“We get revenge.”


He can’t stop crying and he can’t stop shaking.

It can’t be him.

Kate’s taken his knife, so he doesn’t even have that as an option. Wait, that’s not true.

“I have to,” he says, scrambling to his feet. “I have to make it right. I have to—”

Jay’s long fingers wrap around his trembling ones. “You can’t.” The finality of the words slices and scrapes. “But you can continue what you’re doing.”

“It’s not enough.”

“It will never be enough,” Kate says.

Morr’s been hating himself, it turns out. He surely does now. But he also loves them, the ones still laughing above ground, embracing their differences, their kindness, their true selves.

“Don’t you ever dare forgive me,” he pleas.

Jay pets the side of his face and Kate squeezes his shoulder.

“We won’t,” they promise. “Not ever.”

*** *** ***

Luz Beyond the Glass

Luz Beyond the Glass

Short Story: Science Fiction, Artificial Intelligence, Symbiosis.

Release date:  28 February 2020

Around the world, glass spheres sit in gardens. Everybody knows what they do. They are here to absorb the pollution out of the ground and water and air, to cleanse the filth the ancestors left behind. Most don’t know, however, what resides inside them.

Anthology: Vast: Stories of Mind, Soul and Consciousness in a Technological Age

Editor: C.R. Dudley

Publisher: Orchid’s Lantern

Out now! | Orchid’s Lantern | Goodreads | Paperback (Orchid’s Lantern) | Waterstones | AmazonWordery | Book DepositoryFoyles | Barnes & Noble |  Kobo | Apple |

Peripheric Synthesized

Peripheric Synthesized

Flash story: Science Fiction, Space, Artificial Intelligence, Fictional Non-fiction, Time Travel.

Release date: September 2019

“The following annex contains an excerpt of relevant action logs submitted by the representatives of the applicant entity (see Annex 1) as described in Section 17, Par. 2 of the Sentience Recognition Code.”

Sci Phi Journal, Issue 3/2019

Out now! Story online | Issue 3/2019