Free Short Stories
“Don’t Speak” is flash fiction inspired by a photograph of Tokyo Disneyland from 1994, written for a special New York Times collection of stories by Asian American young adult authors.
First Published June 30, 2019 at The New York Times
Inside the pig’s head, it was starting to stink. The half-dozen mints Jenny Watanabe had eaten at the beginning of her shift to pre-emptively perfume the interior had long since worn off. She was already sweating like crazy, and the new Big Bad Wolf had just begun chasing them. She knew it was only going to get worse. Tokyo Disneyland on a hot day was a long slog through mobs of squealing children clutching melting ice cream cones while executing repetitive choreography in bulky costumes.
A retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood” set during the Cultural Revolution in China.
First Published Jan. 1, 2019 at Foreshadow
The east is red when Xiaohong leaves the two-room apartment that has been allocated to her and her parents—two rooms carved out of a once-grand courtyard home, now divided between five families by order of the local Party authorities. The manor has been forced into a new identity, with makeshift kitchens elbowing their way into the sky well, and the walls pasted over with red posters of Chairman Mao quotations. The speaker for the public address system, installed in one corner of the sky well, blasts announcements at all hours, but it has been mercifully quiet so far this morning.
We Could Be Heroes
A married lesbian couple attends the inauguration of a Trump-like president on the day that aliens invade. What could possibly go wrong?
First Published Oct. 1, 2018 at Autostraddle
Nobody expected the inauguration protests would be interrupted by an alien invasion.
Heather was standing outside the bank of port-a-potties in front of the National Museum of Natural History when the spacecraft first appeared as a shadow skimming across the ground. She looked up, clutching her wife Rebecca’s coat and regulation-sized clear plastic backpack stuffed with protein bars, identification, an emergency poncho, and 70 percent dark chocolate, and gaped at the giant black ship gliding silently overhead. It was definitely heading for the Capitol building.
One True Love
“One True Love” is a fairy tale-like story that begins with a prophecy and a stepmother, as many fairy tales do. It soon twists and turns into something else, and asks: What if the prophecy didn’t mean what everyone thought it meant?
First published Aug. 28, 2012 in Foretold
Reprinted in Lightspeed (Feb. 2018, Issue 93)
It is never lucky for a child to kill her mother in the course of her own birth. Perhaps for this reason, the soothsayer who attended the naming ceremony for Princess Essylt was not a celebrated one. Haidis had barely finished his own apprenticeship when the summons came. He knew that delivering the prophecy for this princess was a thankless job, because no soothsayer in his right mind would attempt to foretell the life of a girl-child born out of death.
On Halloween night, two teens visit a small town’s most notorious haunted house.
First Published June 18, 2013 in Defy the Dark
Reprinted in Uncanny Magazine Issue 18 (September/October 2017)
1. October 31, 11:57 p.m.
McKenzie shows up at the Spruce Street Guest House a few minutes before midnight, dressed all in black as if she’s some kind of ninja. She’s even got a black stocking cap pulled over her blond hair, which is sticking out from the bottom in a luminous sheet and ruining the disguise. She’s carrying a backpack, out of which she pulls a flashlight. “Ty?” she whispers.
“A hysterical girl is a vampire who sucks the blood of the healthy people about her.”
— Oliver Wendell Holmes
First Published June 2015 at Interfictions
The first time the fit came over me it was as if I’d plunged into a deep well, and though my hands scrabbled for purchase on the slime-covered brick casing, all I did was sink farther into the murky dark. Everything had been extinguished: I was suffocated by the absence of light and sound. I must have screamed. I must have flailed about, my limbs shuddering so frightfully that Mother called for help. I must have lost consciousness, because when I opened my eyes the doctor was there, eyeing me gravely from beneath his white eyebrows.
“The Fox” is a short story set about two years after the end of Huntress. You may read “The Fox” without reading Huntress if you like, but it will make more sense if you’ve read the novel first.
First Published April 2011 at Subterranean Online
Now available to read for free here
The way the wind blew, Kaede knew it was going to rain soon. The grasses were laid flat to the hillside; the trees shook in the gusting air.
She was five days northeast of the village of Anshu, forty-six days into her first circuit as King’s Huntress of the northernmost province in the Kingdom. Forty-eight days since she had last seen her: the person she had traveled so far to forget. Now she was scarcely a week’s ride from the mountains marking the Kingdom’s border, but she was no closer to forgetting.