You're in luck kids! I've got three more short stories I'd like to recommend. All three are science fiction/fantasy and all three are really good. Two of the three I listened to via the excellent Fantasy Scroll podcast. If you're not listening to your short stories via podcasts, you may want to give it a try. It's a nice change-up from endless NPR in the car.
(How to listen to podcasts: download or stream them directly onto your phone using the Podcast app if you have an iphone, or the Stitcher app if you have an android phone. It's easier than it looks. Use the search function in the app to find the podcast and then either subscribe or select which episode you want to listen to. Just think of it as on-demand radio.)
Hand of God by Erika Satifka, Fantasy Scroll Magazine
Some years ago, a massive hand appeared over a small town. It hovers there, doing nothing, yet it blocks out most of the sunlight and isolates the citizens from everything. Sounds weird. It is, but I think it works because the premise is cleverly balanced with the hyper-familiar as well: families, school, bullies, bikes. What happens to this Mayberry-esque town under the hand of god? It involves mushrooms, drugs, survivalism, and monsters. Loved it. So, so weird, yet you don't question what's happening. You're just like, oooh, tell me more about the little girl's drugs.
When the Dead are Indexed by Gary Emmette Chandler, Fantasy Scroll Magazine
This story is about a guy who goes to a museum exhibit. It's set in a future where there's a superior race of people, called the "SHI," which stands for "super high intelligence," and it's the SHI who have put on this exhibit. The narrator is not an SHI. He's just a normal guy, very humble, but excited to see the show. Unfortunately, he finds it completely disappointing. It's a little hard to explain this story because it depends almost completely on the narrator's arc: how his perspective of the SHI and himself changes after experiencing the exhibit. It's a great example of using narrative voice. I also liked the ending.
Broken-Winged Love by Naru Dames Sundar, Strange Horizons
A mother dragon hatches an egg and finds that her baby has a birth defect. Although she cares for the child, protects it from harm and harassment, she seems herself disgusted by the thing, repeatedly saying,"I didn't love my baby." This mantra keeps the story from getting soft or sentimental and provides instead a character study of a mother doing everything right even as she apparently feels no love for her offspring. Is she lying? Is she telling us the truth? Her offspring seems to feel love; clearly reciprocates that love. But maybe, she was only doing what he needed, regardless of what she felt. A sad, sweet story about the complexity of being a mother.
Hope you enjoy these!
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