Friday, June 2, 2023

“Leave the Plasma Gun, Take the Cannoli” • by Brandon Case

Colonel Janus Andio waited in line at the starship’s specialty-food vendor, impatiently tapping his foot. 

He turned to the short, plump man behind him and said, “Did you hear about the Zolasso Family? They’ve muscled members into the entire Asteroid Fleet.”

“Removed all opposition,” the man said. “Everywhere but this ship.”

“Bunch of chumps… leaving the admiral’s decapitated android in his bed? Oil’s far less dramatic than blood.”

The man reached into his brown jacket—

Fire ripped through Janus’s chest. He collapsed, bleeding.

The man dropped a chrome pistol and stepped over Janus to address the vendor. “Six cannoli, please.”



Brandon Case is an erstwhile government cog, fleeing the doldrums into unsettling worlds of science and magic. He has recent or forthcoming short fiction in Escape Pod, Martian Magazine, and anthologies including Los Suelos and After the Gold Rush. His landscape photography has been licensed by several agencies, including Oregon State’s Tourism Board for print and promotional work.

To see more of his work, check out his website at You can also catch more of his alpine adventures on Instagram @BrandonCase101 or Twitter @BrandonCase101.

This week’s Pete Wood Challenge was to write a flash fiction story using the prompt, “nepotism.” To see the previous winners of previous challenges, click this link.

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