Three stories down…

…in the May Chal­lenge on For­ward Motion. Snip­pets from each one:

Lost and Found

She rubbed [her jaw] absent-mind­ed­ly with her free hand, care­ful to keep the knife as far from her carotid and jugu­lar as pos­si­ble. She’d sliced her­self open once, and the house had chid­ed her to take more care as it glued the wound shut and cloned up a fog of nanites to clean the blood off the floor and counter and walls.

Fiona

All these years and he couldn’t remem­ber the name of the city, couldn’t even remem­ber for sure if it was north of the equa­tor or south, but he remem­bered those lions, great mar­ble beasts carved with such fine detail that on windy days their manes seemed to stir. It was said that a man with avarice in his heart had strayed too near one of the lions, and that his bloody bones had been found the next morn­ing, picked clean and swarmed with flies. It was a pret­ty sto­ry, but Riley was sure it was a local myth.

Pret­ty sure.

After the Mis­sile Rain

Miko hadn’t yet been made when the bombs arced across the sky, so she didn’t have a lot of the mem­o­ries that John did. She didn’t remem­ber the worm-tracks in the night sky, for instance, the fine white etch­ings that the mis­siles made as their fist-sized cyber­net­ic brains plucked ran­dom num­bers from the pop and hiss of inter­stel­lar radio and dodged space­borne X-ray lasers, rail­gun ord­nance, fine sprays of met­al pel­lets trav­el­ing at twen­ty times the speed of sound. She hadn’t seen the flash­es, brighter than a hun­dred suns, that had burned out one of John’s eyes and left the oth­er one scarred so that every­thing he saw was bent dou­ble around a flaw he couldn’t direct­ly see.

Feel­ing accom­plished…