by Alexandra Grunberg
Alexandra Grunberg is a New York City based author, actress, and screenwriter. Her work has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Flash Fiction Online, and elsewhere. She is the screenwriter of the web series HOUSED (an official selection of the 2015 Miami Web Fest) and the upcoming Bugs Trilogy from Magic Dog Productions. Alexandra is also a freelance writer for the science/science fiction website Outer Places. Her short story “Compassion” was previously published in Fantastic Stories of the Imagination. More information can be found at her website, alexandragrunberg.weebly.com.
I miss flowers.
I miss the smell, the look, the feel. The way they appeared unexpectedly, on a walk through the park, or in a vase by the window after a bad day. The way they grew, and changed. Even the way they died.
No one brings me flowers. There is no one left who knows me. In this tube, I wait, wait for technology to catch up to my reality, wait for someone to wake me up and bring me back into life. When I do open my eyes, the world is a wavy mess, the water that surrounds me distorts my view. Sometimes I can see the shapes of people moving, each shadowy figure a deep blue that blends with the deep blue of my existence. They used to get excited when they saw me open my eyes. They don’t anymore.
I try to imagine who they are, who is looking after me, whether they view it as an adventure, an experiment, or an obligation. I do not know why they chose to keep me around, I was no one special in my life. Even though that life is hazy now, more distant and less distinct than the figures outside the tube, I remember enough of it to know that it was simple. Happy. Boring.
I wonder if someone I loved signed me up for this, or paid for it, or recommended my body. Maybe it was someone I hated. But they are gone now, too many years have passed, and the figures do not care what happens to me as long as my existence continues to happen. I am in the perpetual present.
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You can view the Table of Contents and read excerpts from these stories here.
- Fiction: “The Attic of Memories” by Sunil Patel — A bucket list with a life of its own.
- Fiction: “I Miss Flowers” by Alexandra Grunberg— When living forever isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.
- Fiction: “Elvis has Left the Building” by Dario Ciriello— The King was only the opening act.
- Fiction: “Cartographer’s Ink” by Beth Cato — Conquering a map, literally.
- Fiction: “Ro-Sham-Bot” by Effie Seiberg — What do you do with an old, obsolete robot’s heart?
- Reviews: “The Fan: Virgin Ghosts, Virgin Priestesses, and Virgin Vampires” by Carole McDonnell — In this month’s column, Carole McDonnell reviews the American film A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, the Korean series Oh My Ghostess!, the 2012 film Chanthaly directed by Mattie Do, the first female Laotian horror film maker, and Abengoni, Charles Saunders African-inspired sword and sorcery novel.
- Reviews: “The Magic Lantern: Erasing the Origins” by Adam-Troy Castro— Adam-Troy Castro uses the Western as a model for what should and shouldn’t be done to cope with the modern comic book movie epidemic. Err. Renaissance! Full disclosure: A-T C writes comics, as well as other things, and his opinions are fascinating.
- Reviews: “Area 51 1/2 September-October 2015” by Steven Sawicki — In this issue our resident Alien reviews novels by John Scalzi, Adam Christopher, John C. Wright, short fiction by Kelly Link, and the animated short THE OCEANMAKER, written and directed by Lucas Martell.
- Reviews: “New & Noteworthy Short Genre Fiction: September-October 2015” by Gillian Daniels— Gillian reviews stories by C.S.E. Cooney, Jei D. Marcade, Arie Coleman, Sofia Samatar, and Charlie Jane Anders.