…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.
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.
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.