Presenting “Conditional Realities,” the distinctive visionary short stories of acclaimed writer Mario Milosevic. Check your favorite e-book stores for these titles and more by Mario.
Franz Kafka’s final months battling tuberculosis find the author weary and miserable. When the pain becomes too much to endure, he turns to his scribbling for comfort. But Dora, the woman he loves, harbors other plans. Franz’s final work faces an epic and historic disaster even his imagination could not conjure. A tale of love, destiny, and the power of art. (This story is available as an e-book and also in print on Amazon.)
The Gambler’s Tale
Amanda’s aunt gives her a magic dice that will help Amanda make any decision she needs to make in her life. Amanda uses the dice to pick her career and decide if she should marry Alex or not. When her daughter Laura wants to use the dice for her own life decisions, Amanda must decide if the dice has truly been a boon in her life or a convenient crutch.
Lisa’s wife Carl brings home a cloud. The cloud messes up Lisa’s living room and is a nuisance to have around. But as time goes on, Lisa grows to like the cloud. When they find abandoned aircraft and old kites in the cloud, things start to really get weird. And when Carl disappears, Lisa knows life will never be the same for her, for Carl, or the cloud.
Helen wakes up one morning with an urge to get rid of her husband, Jerry. She kicks Jerry until he leaves. As she breaks dishes, lamps, dressers, and doors, Jerry looks for a way back into his house, but his efforts are complicated by a neighbor with the same destructive urges as Helen. As Helen and the neighbor destroy his house, Jerry has to fight them both if he wants his old life back.
Tom’s parents want to teach him the value of life. They present him with a bill for his upbringing, to be paid beginning on his 18th birthday. Tom accepts the bill and takes it with him on his walk around the neighborhood. That’s when he’s confronted with a shotgun-toting neighbor afraid of burglars. With his very existence hanging in the balance, Tom gets a true lesson in the value of life.
An astronaut returns from Mars and everything changes. He loses his memory, paper robots skitter everywhere, and he’skept in a rudimentary cell against his will. When he escapes his incarceration he encounters an entourage of forest dwellers who promise to reveal the truth to him no matter what it will cost him. Meanwhile the wasps have plans of their own and they are swarming.
For Clarice, football is a religion and game day is like going to church. She even dons a VR suit plugged into her team’s quarterback to enhance her sacred experience. For her husband Grant, football is little more than an amusement. He does not understand Clarice’s obsession. When Grant undertakes to sabotage her VR experience of Super Bowl Sunday, no one on or off the field will be safe.
Owlspeak, once a feared warrior and protector of the land, battles a crippling illness that keeps her indoors, out of the natural world. When Weedhead, a young would-be warrior, arrives at her shack seeking her gift, Owlspeak treats her with scorn. But Weedhead slowly endears herself to Owlspeak until Owlspeak asks Weedhead for the ultimate gift: a peaceful end to her wretched existence.
The old gargoyle hangs by the courtyard, cold and silent, but not dead. The spark of life burns inside him. When an old man approaches the gargoyle looking for wisdom, the gargoyle must decide how much of the truth to reveal. His answer will change the old man’s life forever.
Ralph decides to take up gardening as a way to escape his fear of the spiders in his house. But when his garden gets out of hand and he needs to build an infinite greenhouse to enclose it, things get very weird. Then an encounter with a spider brings terror back into his life and Ralph must find a way to save his own sanity.
A plastic surgeon receives a strange patient when a marble angel raps on her window and asks for a radical procedure. At first the surgeon is hesitant, but the charm and beauty of the statue changes her mind. She gives the marble angel what she wants. The procedure is a success, but the result is bittersweet. A haunting fantasy of the sacrifice love sometimes asks of us.
Ever since he got kicked in the head as a young boy, John can’t shake the urge to kick people. His compulsion remains in check for most of his life until one evening when he encounters a particularly inept guitar player and the urge threatens to overwhelm him.
Henry decides to spice up his space journey to the big crunch with a simulacrum of Amelia, his old girlfriend, and Death, his old nemesis. Everything goes along swimmingly for a while until Henry decides he’s bored and takes drastic measure. Then Death and Amelia have to fight it out to see who will survive and who will be deleted.
kindle • nook • smashwords
Liz runs a greasy spoon near a prison where death row inmates wait to be executed. One night she takes an order for a last meal from a guy who is most likely innocent of the crime he is going to die for. Liz wants to make the meal as good as she possibly can, as a gift for his passing. But then she decides she needs to go to the prison and do something more substantial for the condemned man.
Lance, one of the eccentrics in town, swishes his long net through trees, hoping to snag the souls of dead people. His fellow citizens think he’s a little slow, but they live and let live and so does Lance. One day Lance finds a bottle with some strange contents that could threaten his role in town. Lance figures out what’s in the bottle and discovers what his rightful place in town truly is.
First she was born a doll. Then her parents abandoned her. Then she became a puppet. It’s all a little too much for an ordinary toy, but no one said survival was going to be easy, even for a puppet.
As the sea level rises, the king’s land disappears and his subjects flee. His last friend leaves his island empire and the king, with one last heroic effort, grasps for a chance to help his land survive.
Ever since her father killed himself, Debbie and her archaeologist mom do everything together. They even go time travelling when Debbie’s mother gets a chance to research the disappearance of the Anasazi first hand by going to their cliff dwellings a few thousand years ago. But when they get there, things aren’t what they expected, and Debbie discovers a secret about her father she never knew.
A lonely old tattoo artist gets a mysterious call in the middle of the night. A customer needs a tattoo urgently. The tattooist agrees, but when the customer arrives, he brings a strange aura with him, a mixture of danger and mystery. The tattoo artist recognizes death when he sees it, and before he finishes with this client, he will see a lot more of death than he ever thought possible.
Every kid in town flies over Grayson castle when they turn eleven. It is the town’s rite of passage and now it is Alex’s turn. He isn’t sure he has the courage to accept the dare, but knows if he declines he’ll lose all his friends. He takes the leap and survives the first part, but when he crash lands on the roof and a strange voice begins talking to him, he wonders if he’ll get out alive.
Dan and his hunting buddy have seen a lot of things in the woods over the years, but their latest outing brings them face to face with game they’ve never encountered before. They not only don’t know what the animals are, they don’t know if they can live without tasting them again. The only problem is finding more of them and keeping the knowledge of their intoxicating taste all to themselves.
Alien races clash on a remote planet laden with mineral riches. Earth successfully intervenes to save the peace, quell the fighting, and protect the valuable resources. Now human soldiers must deploy to the battlefield planet and make friends with the locals. No one will be safe.
Time is supposed to be something you can count on. But not if you’re a physicist’s spouse. Then time is as elastic as love. You never know what will stop it and you never know what will get it started again.
When the UPS driver turns out to be an alien with a mysterious package that could upend human history, Mac, the family dog, makes it known that she does not approve. Her master defends humanity and is brought before an alien committee to explain his violent deed. The fate of humanity hangs in the balance while he musters the poise he needs to defend himself, his family, and his planet.
Forget 15 minutes of fame. How about 15 minutes of pure power? In the future everyone will have a chance to be president. The only catch is your term of office will last only one quarter of one hour. What can anyone, even the most powerful person in the world, do in 900 seconds? One man finds out and tells his whole glorious story to the world.
Hugh visits the dentist for a routine procedure when the examination turns up evidence of a mysterious double living inside Hugh’s body. Hugh, completely freaked out, flees from the office and falls into the hands of a mysterious woman who offers to help him over his trauma. At first she seems kind, but as her intentions become clear, Hugh realizes she intends to delve into the mysterious doppelganger with ruthless efficiency and scarcely a thought for Hugh’s welfare. A tale of parallel worlds, fantasy, and terror.
Two strangers meet on a train. One knows the future. The other wants to forget the past. Together they will find and cherish the most important moments of their lives.
Bart’s ghost writing job finds him penning letters from a deceased man to send to his widow. It’s a weird job, sure, but it’s a living. Then one day Bart gets a call. “Is this the place that sends letters from my Max?” and fear strikes at Bart’s soul. What does he do if no one wants his ghost written letters? What is his responsibility to those who have passed on?
Lowell never thought a library could be the most dangerous place in the universe. Then he gets an assignment to retrieve a book from the near-infinite Universal Library, a depository of all possible books that could ever be written. He soon encounters marauding bands of library patrons crazed with blood lust in a stark landscape furnished with weapons built from library shelving. In this harsh environment he makes desperate and perilous alliances in a bid to survive. Before long Lowell is in a battle to the death that will test his strength, his courage, and his dedication to the beneficial effects of books and literature.
Stories of two-dimensional worlds have been popular staples of world literature ever since Edwin Abbott kicked off the craze with his Flatland, now more than 125 years old. Mario Milosevic chronicles his attempts to equal or better Abbott’s tale as he explains his ideas for a Flatland story set in the skin of a dead whale. Part memoir, part essay, part story, this exploration of the intricacies of creativity takes you on a road not yet taken and invites you to consider the question: Are some stories better off not written at all?
Camille and Anny are teenagers and best friends aboard World, a sailing ship of the post-apocalyptic future. World roams the ocean endlessly in an attempt to protect its crew and passengers from the savage dangers on land. When Anny becomes enamored of life on land and decides to leave World, she asks Camille to come with her. Camille’s decision will change both their lives forever.
A man in the winter of his life carries on his family’s tradition of making brooms. Making the world safe for witches, is the way his wife used to put it. One day a stranger comes to his workshop with an urgent request.
Love can outlast hard times and absent times. But can it outlast the universe itself? This story took first place in the 8th annual short story competition at sfreader.com.
Put enough monkeys in a room, randomly punching keyboards, and eventually, with enough time, one of them will type out a classic work of literature. Only problem, if you’re the monkey who types Hamlet, is what to do for an encore.
What happens when a know-it-all has to walk her talk? A charming tale of a gentle comeuppance.
The moon. Engine of tides and inspiration to lovers. Unchanging and eternal. Or is it? What if the moon disappeared? Savor three intertwined tales of the vanished moon: extinguished by semantics, indifference, and love.
Noah, collector of animals, trying to save the world. Darwin, collector of animals, trying to understand the world. What happens when these two titans of bygone days meet and talk shop? A tale of history as it might have been.
Years after the nation breaks up, a mother still misses her long lost son. A land mass drifts into view, and a lone boat makes its way across the ocean to her shore.