Category: Free Stories

A house  burns in Lower Lake, Calif., is in ruins due to the Clayton fire Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. (Kent Porter/The Press Democrat via AP)

A Story About a Man and a Horse

June 23, 2017

This story came about as I was trying to figure out how to use Twitter. After a few days of frustration, I decided to write a story in a series of 140 character posts, which was the character limit for the social network at the time. It was exactly 555 words (20 Twitter posts) long….

Deal With the Devil

The Heart of the Deal

January 20, 2017

The Heart of the Deal by Maxim Salnikov The man swirled the ice cubes in his whiskey glass, the low hum of his private jet a soothing, calming sound. It was a sound of power and, as far as the man was concerned, power meant merit. Respect. Money. But the power he had was not…

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Hello, I Am From Earth

November 8, 2016

Hello, I Am From Earth by Maxim Salnikov When I lost my arms, I was given a choice: become a beggar, or a starfighter pilot. Terra Corps needed people with nothing to lose, people who were willing to get cybertoys screwed into their bodies so that their genius R&D eggheads could turn them into statistics….

The Cartographer

The Cartographer

May 10, 2016

The Cartographer by Maxim Salnikov A gust of wind hit the drone, tilting my view of the forest below, the drone’s cameras feeding static-ridden visuals into my VR helmet back on Earth. I gently pushed the flight stick with my right hand as I pushed the throttle with my left. The drone glided over the…

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Dragonfly

December 31, 2015

Dragonfly by Maxim Salnikov “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” — Edgar Allan Poe The metal membrane of the ceiling shuddered, sending shockwaves through the hangar as cluster bombs rained death from the skies of Ganymede V. The mechanized ceiling held … for now. Captain John Parkin exhaled…

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Laser’s Edge

December 7, 2015

Inspired by artwork by Steve Argyle (DeviantArt link to the piece). Written in the festive spirit of an upcoming new Star Wars movie. Laser’s Edge by Maxim Salnikov My anger burnt with hate inside my phantom limbs. I inhaled, glove-clad cybernetic fingers curling around my lightsaber’s hilt.  You fool, I thought, sensing Luke’s resolve behind me. The son of Anakin Skywalker…

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Dreams in Soft Focus

October 11, 2015

Dreams in Soft Focus by Maxim Salnikov I am thirty five years old. Two candle flames dance, reflected in Linda’s pupils. I brush her hair. “It’s all right, Jonas. You’re right. We needed the money.” She kisses me then, a long, slow kiss, her tongue tasting of summer flowers and hope, and puts her palms…

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The Art of Exploitation

September 29, 2015

The Art of Exploitation by Maxim Salnikov This is going to be easy. Give me the escape routes again, I think to my SmartGlasses. The minimap expands to show lines traced across the district. Here’s Beggar’s Alley. Then, the market, where I’ll disappear into the crowd. Finally, the metro. Too easy. I kill the map…