by Jean Davis
Jillian breathed deep through her nose and focused on the young man on the hospital bed beside her. His breathing remained troubled, even after the two-hour healing session she’d just performed. Doctors and nurses hovered in the hallway, poking in their heads from time to time to check on her progress. The pleading eyes of the man’s wife on the other side of the bed, along with the photo of their two children on the bedside table, wouldn’t allow her to give up.
She took a few moments to focus on the room, giving her body time to regroup. The remaining session would drain her, but she was so close with Mike that she didn’t dare stop now. He needed her.
Someone always did. The next patients on her list would have to hold on another day.
The television was silent, but photos of missing children still appeared behind the newscaster. Jillian secretly wished someone would steal her away. To be free of obligation, guilt and constant fatigue … she sighed.
Continue reading Healer
by James Davies
One hundred and eighteen men died when the Kursk submarine exploded on August 12th, 2000. There were no reported survivors. Then again, I have a pretty forgettable face.
In London, every winter is cold. And expensive. It’s hard to get a job here, especially if you don’t officially exist. Back in the Motherland, I could’ve gotten a job easily, but I wasn’t going back.
So I had to resort to robbery again.
I dodged a double-decker bus as I crossed through the roaring traffic. A cyclist swore at me as he shot past, barely missing me. I considered violence, but dismissed it. Bigger things were at hand.
Continue reading Forgettable
by Sean Moreland
The night was star-punctured; the snow, luminous. Despite this, the dark beyond the arc of the pickup’s headlights seemed as thick as tar to Adler. Armies of pine stood at shivering attention on both sides of the highway, their snow-laden shapes phosphoric in the glare of high beams.
His father had once told him that at the age of three, Adler had become upset that the snow at night was not black like the sky it fell from. The old man, now five years dead, had reassured him that the snow was the same white as the stars, because that’s where it actually came from.
Intergalactic snow. His father always was full of shit. He might even have made up the whole story, just to convince Adler what a chickenshit he had been as a rugrat. That definitely sounded like the old man.
Continue reading White-Out
by Madeline Popelka
1. Haruspex: The Body is a Forecast
First, there was darkness. Then came a light, followed by the sputtering of a blue screen above Jake’s eyes. There were two words on the screen: “Stay awake.” Then came an angry shriek of pulsing metal. A short silence followed, then a tinny voice vibrated through the headphones.
“You doing okay, Jake?”
He almost nodded before he remembered they had told him to stay still. Even if he had wanted to move, a plastic harness kept his head tightly clamped to the narrow bed. He pressed the little green button they had given him to hold in his right hand.
“Great. Hang in there for ten more minutes and we’ll be done with the scan.”
Continue reading Divine Organ
by Fredrick Obermeyer
This story has been removed from the Acidic Fiction archive at the request of the author. To contact the author regarding reprints or permissions, email the editor (), who will forward your request to the author directly.
Roll the Sky
by Yegor Chekmarev
I really wish I could remember simple things, like Daddy’s face. Then I wouldn’t have to hide behind the stones and statues whenever he comes by. If I knew Daddy was back to see me, I could finally hug him and tell him everything is okay.
See, there’s this man walking alone down the main winding path. He’s dressed in a dapper black suit with his gray hair parted. When he comes by, I hide behind an obelisk. I don’t know who this man is, but I have a good feeling about him. I’ve had a lot of good feelings before, but this one is the strongest. I found fresh flowers on the ground earlier, and I know Daddy came by not too long ago. Who else are they for, if not for me?
Continue reading Roll the Sky
Descent into Darkness
by John H. Dromey
Although exigent circumstances sometimes required her to travel, Agatha Blake was not overly fond of flying. Then again, she wasn’t exactly a homebody who thrived on doing household chores, either. That’s why, more often than not when she set out on a journey, she was quite content to leave her broom unattended in a dark corner of her closet.
Persuaded by the entreaties of two distraught families, Agatha had agreed—albeit with a great deal of reluctance on her part—to follow in the footsteps of a honeymooning couple who had disappeared from the face of the earth. She had to go to great lengths, quite literally, before she could begin the investigation in earnest.
Continue reading Descent into Darkness
by James Essex
Jared’s medication was getting too expensive. When he picked up his next 30-day supply at the pharmacy, he had to spend the rest of his pocket money for the entire month. His wages would all go toward rent and utilities, with a little left over for groceries. He wouldn’t be able to buy anything else, not even a used book or a movie ticket. It would be a rough month.
The side effects were getting worse, too. The occultist had warned him that some patients experienced hand tremors and headaches, but she neglected to mention how severe they would be. Whenever he tried to use a pencil, his handwriting looked worse than a three-year-old’s, and after he dropped two glass tumblers in the past week, he had to start drinking out of shatterproof plastic cups. Sometimes his eye sockets ached so much he thought the pressure would crack his face open.
Continue reading Medication
Her Father’s Eyes
by Simon Kewin
Caitlin had her father’s eyes. She kept them in a jar on the mantelpiece. Most people preferred a clock up there, or maybe a nice vase. Something to wedge bills behind. Caitlin liked the eyes better.
You’re not really going out like that are you? You’re dressed like a whore! What will people think?
The voice was angry and heavy with disappointment. It was a particular skill of her father’s.
Continue reading Her Father’s Eyes