The Door

 

 
“But … what am I supposed to do?”

Casper suspected that this was an elaborate prank.

He walked the block several times, occasionally looking at the business card tucked in his jacket pocket. An address was typed on one side: 2714 Magnolia Drive. On the other, a hand-written phone number. He stood across the street from a Quik Clean dry cleaner, with a large 2712 above the door. Next to it, the aroma of fried chicken emanated from a Caribbean Wings and Things. The placard above the entrance …

The Posthumous Novel of
Edward L. Heard

 

“There were supposed to be six books, but he only wrote five before he died.”

Becca bit back a gasp when the shade broker stepped out of nowhere and into her condo kitchen. For a second, Becca saw her mother in the broker’s stout figure and pulled-back wavy hair, and she felt a pang of loss again.

But this was a stranger, with a sharp chin and a conservative but fashionable pantsuit. The shade broker sat down on the breakfast nook bench and pulled a rustling stack of parchment from her briefcase. “I understand you would like to trade…”

 
Extremophiles

 

 
There were bigger things to talk about.

Due to the monumental coincidence of timing, Anna Chu always associated the aliens with her daughter. When she told people that, they smiled and laughed, assuming that it was just because she found out that she was pregnant on the same day that the first alien arrived. No one ever asked if there was more to it than that, which was fine because Anna wasn’t sure she wanted to explain that it wasn’t only the timing. It was the fact that …