Requires Replenishment by Marc A. Criley

Hot tires buzzing.

Backseat child whimpering.

Dead alien in trunk.



Dropped kid at my sister’s, grabbed a shovel. Got the stink-eye.


Hours down dead desert tracks. Kill engine, pop the trunk. Grab shovel, haul the heptapoder.

Ten minutes shoveling–a shoulder poke. I turn. “JESUS CHRIST!” and fall on my ass. “It was an accident! I’m sorry! Didn’t see… How…?”

Clicks and hisses, then the battered voicebox squawks, “Recuperative hibernation…” More clicks. “…requires replenishment.”

“I’ve got energy bars,” I say, sitting up.

A tentacle wraps me; I freeze, hear, “You will do.”

A flash, a crunch, darkness… I can’t breathe.

Marc Criley avidly read fantasy and science fiction for over forty years before deciding to try his hand at writing it. Marc is a software developer by day, and he and his wife manage a household of cats–and Tammy the Dog–at their home in the hills of North Alabama. His fiction has appeared in Abyss & Apex and is forthcoming from Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Galaxy’s Edge. Marc noisily tweets as @That_MarcC about shiny distractions, and keeps an author website at