Machinations by Jen Mierisch

Back then, my job was to strip the corpses and bundle clothes for reuse. I tugged shoes and tossed them towards the heap.

On one shoe, a word was written, red dots against green: HELP. Our six-eyed Masters could not see color.

Glancing around, I pried up the insole. The space held a key, an address, and a fervent request: deliver nitric acid to help build the weapon that would set us free.

Nowadays, I have all the sugar water I can drink, and a sunny apartment aboveground. The Masters may be ugly, but their rewards for loyalty are lovely.

Jen Mierisch writes humor, horror, and stories that are a bit of both. Her work has appeared in Horla, HAVOK, Dark Moments, and various horror anthologies. She lives, works, and writes just outside Chicago, Illinois, USA. Read more at or follow Jen on Twitter, @JenMierisch.

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