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Issue number seven




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Alternative Fuel by Laura Cooper

Iripped off his head and poured his energy into the tank, but it was not quite full. Luckily, I still had nieces and nephews in reserve. Funny how you don't see homeless people or foster children anymore, I chuckled. The conservationists used to complain about gluttony in the name of science, but we humans are innovative. We make use of what we have, even if we have to overcome the laws of nature.

I topped off with half an infant and stepped up into my automobile. It carried my music, my thoughts, and my stuff. Since an interstate commute can be dangerous, I reached across my heart to attach my seat belt. Click. I felt safe. I drove away fast; those of us who had survived still had the means. I surged forward against the particles of the troposphere. My vehicle merged with the others, all of us in a hurry. I darted past the slow-footed engines and felt as though I were winning. A wind slapped me from the left, but I maintained my course. Sunlight glared at me, but it could not burn through my air-conditioning. The road started to ascend; I felt that I could fly. The incline grew fierce, and I cursed the machine for surrendering speed.

"Go. Go!" I shouted as my foot pressed the accelerator into the engine compartment. If only I could inject my own leg into the mixture, I might gain momentum. Either the fuel line was clogged, or the engine was not big enough to get me where I was going. Maybe the infant hadn't possessed a strong enough life force; I should have used the ten-year-old.

I did not recall this hill, this enormous mountain in my path--the path I took every day. Reluctantly, I shifted into a lower gear before I reached the peak. My progress was agonizingly slow. Just when I knew that I had made it, the cliff dumped me into an abyss before I could turn back. I raced into a free-fall off the edge of the earth. But, wait! Science said the earth was round.

Laura Cooper lives outside city limits inside her own reality. She has written technical documents and many versions of one novel. This is her first published story.

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