Skip to main content

“Little Healers” by Andrew Bourelle

“Little Healers” by Andrew Bourelle 

This story was published in “Gothic Fantasy: Swords & Steam” published by Flame Tree Publishing. 

This is the story of a parent’s love for their child.  What they will do for their children. Henry and Jessica both loved their child Anson with all their heart.  They spent all the time in world with him and spoiled him rotten. 

Then one day he became sick.  He was feverish and laid out in bed.  Jessica was beside herself with what to do and even more distressed because Henry would spend every waking minute he had in his laboratory and study.  Henry was an inventor and scientist.  He lost himself in studies while his child lay sick and dying upstairs.  Jessica had never felt so alone. 

Then one day Anson sits up, wide awake, the fever breaks, and everything seems to be normal again.  He has no sign of illness.  Henry goes back to spending time with the family and less time in his laboratory.  His wellness was short-lived however; soon after Anson woke up screaming in pain.  He was bleeding from his mouth, ears, and nose.  Soon the screams stopped, but they stopped forever.  He was dead. 
Jessica one day overheard her husband talking to his assistant, James, and was aghast at what she heard.  She went to bed that night and then, after Henry came to check on his wife and make sure she was sleeping, followed her husband into the night with his gun in her pocket.   

What comes next is surprising.  You don’t really see what is coming.  You think that there might be forgiveness, but then there is nothing but regret and hate.  A father’s love for his child led him to create minute mechanical devices which seek out and eat bad germ while leaving the good ones alone.  He put them inside of his son as a last resort to try and save him.  The mother intent on revenging her son makes her husband do what you least expect.  No forgiveness or mercy is given, only a mother’s love for her child. 

I enjoyed this story.  It has hints of steampunk and with a helping of fantasy.  You get a small mystery wrapped in a nice little bundle.  This wasn’t an overtly steampunk story, just small bits here and there to give the suggestion.  More of a fantastical mystery.


Popular posts from this blog

"Red Card" by S.L. Gilbow

"Red Card" by S.L. Gilbow
This story comes from the anothology "Brave New Worlds" edited by John Joseph Adams.
This story had an interesting concept.  A government program in Merry Valley gives anonymous and random red cards to some of the residents.  A government issued revolver is also given along with the red card.  These red cards entitle the carrier of the card to become what is known as an "enforcer." 
An enforcer gets to kill one person of their choosing for any reason.  They can kill with impunity, but must follow the laws and guidelines of the program to not get in trouble.  As long as the guidelines are followed there are no repercussions

"Extraction Request" by Rich Larson

"Extraction Request" by Rich Larson
This story comes from the anthology "The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Vol. 2" edited by Neil Clarke.
This is a story about a squad leader, named Elliot, and his squad.  Elliot is the squad leader of the team that was flying through the air of the planet.  He is also the squad leader addicted to pain killers.  Although he tries to hide this fact from his squad many of them notice the changes in him.  He's not fooling anyone.
The squad wasflying through the air of a planet when they hit a smart mine and went down.  The planet was covered in large swathes of fungi.  Fields of it for miles.  Small amounts of flora, but pretty much just the fungi all around them.
They went down pretty hard, but with only one casualty.  Beasley was pretty much sheared in half, but still coherent.  He sent out a ripple to the squad.  Each squad member saw the flash of light on their optic visor that allowed them an up or down vote on whe…

"Under Cover of Darkness" by Christopher Golden

"Under Cover of Darkness" by Christopher Golden
This story comes from the collection "Tell My Sorrows To The Stones" written by Christopher Golden.
This story started out following a national guardsman, Carl Weston, waiting in a trench.  We aren't sure what he is waiting for yet, but we find out he is "babysitting" one of the new guardsman, Brooksy.  Soon we find out the National Guard is working with Border Patrol on the Mexican Border.
The Border Patrol had intel that there was a cartel running illegals across the borders and making them smuggle cocaine at the same time.  A double bonus for the cartel.  The Border Patrol setup an operation to stop this shipment of drugs and illegals crossing the border withthe National Guard backing them up.
Soon illegals crossed the border from Mexico into the United States carrying backpacks full of drugs.