Edd Vick’s latest story, “The Corsair and the Lady” may be found in Talebones #37.

Alex Dally MacFarlane’s story “The Devonshire Arms” is available online at Clarkesworld.

Trent Walters, poetry editor at A&A, has a chapbook, Learning the Ropes, from Morpo Press.

Luc Reid writes about the psychology of habits at The Willpower Engine. His new eBook is Bam! 172 Hellaciously Quick Stories.

Dreams of a Thousand

by Luc Reid

Inevitably, I was getting sleepy. I stared at the alarm clock’s oversized blue numbers, bleary-eyed. The numbers went in and out of focus.

“Big,” I murmured. “Big.”

“What?” Jean said thickly, rolling over toward me. She put her hand on my shoulder. “Did you say something, babes?”

“Shh, go to sleep,” I said.

“You dreaming about Mike again?”

“I wasn’t asleep,” I said.

“You always dream about him, huh?”

“Don’t worry about it,” I told her. “I’m just trying to fall asleep.”

“If my brother was dead, I’d want to dream about him,” she said. “You’re lucky.” She was starting to wake up. Jean had a thing for long conversations at night when I was trying to get to sleep. Not that I didn’t like them myself, it’s just … I was trying to get to sleep. I should just get to sleep.

“He wasn’t a really nice brother, you know.”

“Neither were you, babes,” she said. “That doesn’t mean you don’t miss him.”

“I’m really worn out, Jeanie. Can we talk about it tomorrow?” I yawned.

“Sure, babes,” she said, and rolled back away. I lay there listening to her breathing slow down, thinking about Mike.

Big,” I whispered, too quiet for even Jean to hear. The blue digits on the clock blended into a little stream, a waterfall. I was tumbling down, down, gently, sliding into sleep …

Then I was in the dream, looking up. A thousand Mikes towered over me, holding a thousand newspapers, his wide faces split in a thousand grins. “I guess it’s my turn to be big tonight,” he said.

I buzzed my tiny wings, lifting into the air and dodging away, trying to get used to the compound eyes again.

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