Video Excerpt of "The Rainbow Sprite"
Buy Amazon US
Buy Amazon UK
Buy Amazon AU
From “Eden” by Zander Vyne:
Many would be tested. Most wouldn’t make it. The unchosen were Doomed unless they ran.
My friend, Trek, decided to run and join the group living on the fringe; he’d received a rejection letter and had nothing to lose. “Some Chosen run too, Eve. It’s that good over there, and it’s our only chance to be together.”
I let Trek hold me and kiss me. He was bold, this last time we were together, daring to touch my breasts. He wanted more, and for the first time, he asked for it.
The sin of it—his voice whispering illicit expressions in my ear—excited me. I imagined him naked over me. Passionate. Thrilling. Fucking. Forbidden.
“No.” I pushed him away. I wanted him, but I wanted the privileged life on Eden more. Utopia was for the Chosen only. I would do nothing to ruin my chance at a future there.
I’d been raised on the history of Eden like all children—long, long ago, the Great War had driven Earth’s people underground. With only artificial light, and the barest of resources, they tried everything to reduce their numbers, hoping to last long enough to repopulate the surface. They failed. Only stranded astronauts on space-station Biospheres survived.
My Chosen dad often pointed out Earth in the night sky. “It looks like any other star, but it’s a reminder. Don’t forget that, baby girl.”
Our ancestors found themselves with no home.
The new Biosphere world faced many problems. People wanted solutions ensuring survival. Out of the chaos came The Foundation.
Those pioneers led the expedition that discovered the habitable, but tiny, Eden. To make sure this new home didn’t become like the old one, the Foundation mandated a genetically-engineered society. No trouble-making genes allowed. The people on Eden were all products of the Pleasure Sphere. No one could remember another way of life, another way of reproducing.
For the Chosen, Eden was perfect.
When was the last time you came face-to-face with a mermaid?
Ever explore a hidden underwater cave or been haunted by an unearthly creature? Did that passionate childhood fantasy turn into a real, sexy encounter? When was the last time you discovered a bell concealing the entrance to a faerie mound? Have you wondered what would happen if New Orleans was entombed in radioactive water?
UNDERWATER features sixteen exploratory tales that delve into decrepit landscapes and strange magic, inhuman heroes and crushing experimentation. Two-thirds of the world is submerged—experience what happens within, from the fantastical and erotic to the horrifying and triumphant, UNDERWATER showcases stories that will inundate readers with uncharted territories.
From “Fossegrimmen” by Megan McFerren:
Brave ventures yield great rewards, Kjell reasons, so long as one survives them. Perhaps the same is true for sheep.
His foot digs deeper, and he steps back. The stories of places like this are known well, the haunts of wights and elves who will demand tribute for passing near their homes. Children’s stories, no doubt, to keep them from toppling down onto the rocks. Myths and fables from more superstitious times.
Surely, then, the strains of music are only his imagination.
Surely, the lilting of fiddle strings must be carrying on the wind across the fell.
Surely, Kjell must have just spent too much time afield alone, and his mind has wandered far as his stubborn sheep.
Curiosity pulls him towards the edge once more. With mistrust towards the stability of the soft soil and misgivings towards his own mind, Kjell slips closer to the falls. Dulcet tones rise in a familiar old song from Kjell’s childhood but whose words he can’t recall. The cascade of water is twice his height but no more than that, and when Kjell leans, only the edge of the shadowy pool beneath shows, foaming white beneath the spray. The bend of strings echoes louder from below, a sound so warm that Kjell forgets how wet his clothes have become in seeking the music’s source.
Kjell’s voice rings back at him after a pause, too long to be his own echo, and yet, it sounds much the same. His brow furrows at the strange delay. He draws a breath to call again and holds it when a voice responds:
From “The Rock Cave” by Angela R. Sargenti:
I dive deeper than normal because the reef is so pretty. Fish of all colors swim around me—blue, green, and yellow. Beneath the coral, I spy an opening in the rock. My curiosity gets the better of me. As I get closer, I see that it’s big enough to swim through, so I do.
When I come up for air inside the cave, I see two men there, both gorgeous. One of them has long brown hair, and he’s bigger than the other, who’s a blond. They both have fantastic abs, and they glance at each other, smiling.
“Oh,” I say. “I’m sorry. I hope I’m not intruding.”
“Not at all,” says the bigger of the two. “Please come in. We’re just up for air.”
I look at them closely. They don’t seem like threats. In fact, they don’t seem interested in me at all.
“I’ve never been down this far before,” I say, and the slighter man glances at his companion again.
I don’t know why that word pops into my head because it’s not a word I’ve ever used before.
All I know is: it fits.
“Maybe I should go,” I tell them, but their attention immediately focuses on me.
“Don’t go,” says the bigger man.
“Don’t go,” says his companion.
They lean back on the rock ledge and relax, but the water beneath them churns like they’re in some big private hot tub.
“Come closer,” says the man with the brown hair.
If they wanted to hurt me, they’d have done so by now, but I’m compelled to obey their summons. I swim up to them, and they lean forward eagerly.
“We’ve been waiting for you,” says the smaller man, suddenly taking the initiative and taking me into his arms.
His chest is warm.
“We’ve been waiting for you,” says the big man. “We knew you were coming.”