Short Fiction from Apex Magazine

Current IssueIssue 127Short Fiction

Thresher of Men

The goddess had lived a million lives.
As a child, she had raced Sister Sun across the endless savannahs of Home, singing songs that inspired queens for a thousand years.
Fly, sister! Dance with us across the sky!
Oh! See how she frowns!
Much later, she had traveled in the bellies of slave ships, listening to the voices of her people as they cried for her, never knowing that she rode beside them in the deepening darkness. She had watched her people sundered from their histories and wept for the beloved ripped from her million loving hearts. And at the end of every life, the parts of her that lived in them had also gone into that darkness.

Current IssueIssue 127Short Fiction

Dogwood Stories

“Well, back in the days, a long time ago, the dogwood was strong, as strong as the oak tree. The people who kilt Jesus used the dogwood to make the crosses people was crucified on. The dogwood was a killin’ tree. So when they kilt Jesus on the cross, God twisted the dogwood, punished it by making its limbs thin and skinny …”
“So no one could be crucified on them anymore,” Sadie finished, her heart hammering in glee.

Current IssueIssue 127Short Fiction

Hank in the South Dakota Sun

If Hank were sluggish, or in need of a major repair; if we regularly missed deadlines, or broke down while underway, I might understand. There are dozens of things that can put a train out of commission for good, and I’ve been afraid of many of them in the years since I was given the chance to be Hank’s conductor. I just never thought corporate indifference would be one of them.

Current IssueIssue 127Short Fiction

Whose Mortal Taste

It occurred to Tanager I that the humans were not dead, by their hopeful definition, but rather in stasis. Then again, they were most definitely dead by biological measures. The contradiction, it supposed, lay at the center of Oriole I’s initial irritation, the argument that had driven them all here. It was tempted to hiss under its breath, like a cat or some other small predator gone feral, but Tanager I did not know what purpose it would serve. It was an instinct, and instincts always made it uncomfortable. The humans had been driven by instinct and now what was left of them was frozen underground.

Current IssueIssue 127Short Fiction

In Haskins

Jennifer snuck down from the stage as twilight struck and the big sky above the small town glowed with gold and crimson ribbons. The people were drinking their ciders, wiping the grease from the lips of their masks as they devoured turkey legs through the slits that made up their mouths.
She found Rance sitting on a hay bale, his legs resting on a large pumpkin with a blue ribbon. She said his name and he reacted in mock exaggeration, pretending to fall from his spot. Rance had always been a jokester—for the last three dozen years, at least. Before, he was cruel—a bully—but time had softened his demeanor. He was now something of a class clown. Even in Haskins, times change.

Current IssueIssue 127Short Fiction

This Shattered Vessel, Which Holds Only Grief

“I was part of the Free Zone downtown,” she tells him at last. “Kam swore we could hold the cops off if we stuck together, but they tore through our wards, bashed in the walls—and I fled. When my family needed me most, I ran.” She has never told anyone this. The words twist in her. Bile rises in her throat.
“I just want to have stayed,” she says. To have faced it with the others, the community who had been so certain that they would change the world.