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Thursday, November 2, 2017

From the SHOWCASE archives...

Fiction: “Martian Rules” by C. R. Hodges




Eternal fame, top hammock, and a shoe contract all came down to five used drinking straws clutched in the oversized mitt of a slightly inebriated Irishman. We consumed half my stash of medicinal whiskey celebrating the landing and arguing over Mick’s self-proclaimed Martian Rules. “Down a shot. Pray or don’t pray, as ye see fit. Choose.”

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. There had been a ninety-seven-page international treaty sequencing the precise order of Martian egress—bureaucratic gibberish for who walks on Mars first—by our international crew. But when Texas seceded, the treaty was voided, and my shoe contract too. I had seethed about my ill fortune until my young son had told me, “It’s okay, Papi,” on our biweekly video call.

That was the last time I saw him, clutching an overstuffed bear with a red bandana around its neck, blowing me a kiss.

[...read the rest of the story...]

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C.R. Hodges writes all manner of speculative fiction, from ghost stories to urban fantasy to science fiction. Twenty-six of his short stories have been published in markets such as Cicada, On the Premises, and EscapePod, and he is a first-prize winner of the 2016 Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards. When he is not writing or playing the euphonium, he runs a product design company in Colorado, where he lives with his wife, dog, and no ghosts that he knows of. His online haunts include https://crhodges.wordpress.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/C.R.Hodges.Author/

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