By Marilyn K. Martin
The pig was green that morning. A bad green. Darker than the grass. The color of a laser-tank in the forest. Bad! Grunting and gobbling in its morning trough, the pig was a green mini-blimp, darker green stripes rippling the length of its back. Its stubby green legs were distorted, as usual. One floating out sideways, another one arcing over its back.
OUCH! His stomach-alarm had gone off. “No, No, No!” he said, a fist pounding on the small device permanently locked around his waist. “Bab, Bad, Bad!” Blinking dazedly, he turned to look up at the large one-story circular building wavering above him in the near distance, like a mirage. His legs started stumbling toward it, even as his fogged brain was deciding what to do.
He entered the circular building through the huge blue doorway, since he was wearing scrubs the same shade of blue. His feet seemed to know where to go, as he lumbered toward the medication dispensing desk.
“That one! That one! That one!” His finger pounded the counter beside a pink pill, amid an array of thirty pills of all different sizes and colors. The pills were always spread out on the counter, for the patient to first approve them.
“Okay, that one,” said the Dispenser in monotone behind the counter. “Any reason you don’t want to take that one?”
“Bad pink!” the patient said, finger still jabbing the counter beside the pink pill. “It’s dead! Dead pink! Pink people dead!”
“Alright, fine. Sign here,” intoned the Dispenser with a sigh, and placed the electronic signature pad on the counter before the patient.
The bald patient picked up the stylus and scribbled madly, then started jabbing the screen with the stylus. “Lines are fences. Can’t escape. Bad!” he hollered at the pad. He blinked away sudden memories of street barricades, and no easy escape as the enemies’ tanks approached. Meanwhile, the small screen’s criss-crossing protective grid appeared underneath his signature. Then there was a tiny flash, and his thumbnail photo appeared in the upper right corner above his signature, to properly ID him as the scribbler.
“Okay, here are the rest of your morning pills,” the Dispenser announced, after scooping up the remaining pills into six small swallow-size cups. A large glass of juice was set on the counter for him.
As the patient downed one cup of pills after the other, amid gulps of juice that dribbled down his chin, the Dispenser uploaded the patient’s signature to the mainframe. Then the pad was noisily thrown back underneath the counter. The “bad” pill sat off to the side of the counter, to be logged in and then discarded.
The patient spent the rest of the day down the slope at the farm, checking to make sure all the animals were their proper color. The purple chickens clucked and scattered from him. The green-striped pig grunted and ignored him. But the aqua-colored horse just stared at him, as it solemnly chewed its alfalfa. He listened carefully, but something was wrong.
“That one! That one! That one!” the patient insisted that evening, a finger jabbing the counter beside an aqua capsule.
“Okay, any reason?” asked the bored Dispenser, moving the offending capsule aside.
“Horse color. Didn’t talk to me,” muttered the blinking, crazed patient, as the signature-pad was slid in front of him. “Bad horse! Bad!” he continued, as he scribbled lines and circles for his signature. Another small flash, and then he shoved the pad back toward the Dispenser.
As he downed his six tiny cups of pills with juice, the Dispenser uploaded his signature, and added a few notations: “Refused one pill each, morning and evening med dispensing. Reports horse didn’t talk to him after morning meds. Did not jab signature pad for evening meds, and was the first time he pushed signature pad toward me when finished.”
For the next few days, the patient randomly picked out one pill to be removed at both morning and evening med dispensings. Then, at the farm one morning, he noticed something strange. The chickens were all white. Not one was purple. But the pig was still green.
“Bad pig!” he hollered from the other side of the gleaming metal fence. But the pig continued to snort and snuffle, as it gobbled its breakfast from the trough. “Don’t eat all of it!” shouted the patient at the pig. “Some of it is bad! Bad pills! Bad pig!”
He was petting the nose of the non-talking aqua horse later that same afternoon, inside the horse stable. Suddenly he heard many footsteps and looked around. He spied an Official in a white lab coat, leading a small knot of nervous people through the stables. Since this happened fairly regularly, the patient had never paid any attention before. This time, however, he surprisingly seemed to understand most of the conversation. When the Official stopped and turned, to answer a question from the group, the patient jerkily turned to listen too.
“Actually, this kind of therapy started by accident,” the Official was saying to the knot of people, whose distorted faces stretched and twisted. “It had been a very controversial theory before the war, that someone’s Soul or Spirit could guide a person’s body and mind back to health,” the Official was explaining. “Our psychiatric hospitals had just started to experiment with that theory, and even had some promising results. Then the war broke out.
“After the war, with so many insane and so few trained medical personnel who had survived, it suddenly became our Theory of Necessity,” the Official continued. The patient had lost track of the conversation by this point, and stood blinking, unsure what to do next.
“In order to help all these hundreds of thousands of psychotic people, driven insane by the war, we gathered them up into safe environments. Like this fenced-in compound, which used to be a military base,” the Official gestured. “We watch them, protect them and medicate them, mainly to keep them calm but mobile.
“The medications range from tranquilizers to mild hallucinogenics to herbal restoratives,” the Official explained. “And the patients must see and approve all the pills before taking them. They are allowed to stop taking one pill per dispensing session, if they wish. Interestingly, the patients who are ready to heal usually refuse the hallucinogenics first.
“Other patients, more damaged, choose to stay in a distorted hallucinogenic world longer,” the Official sighed. “Based on this Spirit Healing Theory, our small staff has been instructed to help every patient find their own way back to health. Staff can’t force anything on a patient, but are to encourage every glimmer of a patient wanting to make a change for the better.”
A woman in the group raised her hand with a question, and held up a small, blinking recording device to catch the Official’s answer. “Doctor, why are hallucinogenics prescribed? If they’ve been driven insane by what they’ve experienced in the war, aren’t they already drowning in horrific thoughts and memories they can’t deal with?”
The Official nodded. “Good question. However, it’s been our experience that heavily tranquilized and sedated patients have practically no thought processes at all. Their sub-conscious may be repeatedly experiencing horrific imagery and shrieking for help. But keeping these thoughts and memories locked deep inside their heavily drugged bodies, the patients will only get worse. We think it’s better to keep the patients conscious and somewhat alert. And by allowing them a distorted and more comforting view of reality, with mild hallucinogenics, it’s the best way to help them work their way out of their own personal hells.
“And now, if you’ll follow me back outside, I’ll show you the concert gazebo the nearby villagers built for us.” The Official then turned and started leading the tour group out of the stable. The Official smiled and greeted the patient in passing, who only stood blinking.
Half of the trailing group ignored him, and the other half only glanced at him with nervous smiles in passing. Their yawning faces, stretching sideways and up or down, were ugly to him. He remembered how some faces that pulled and twisted like that could bleed. He unsteadily turned back to the aqua horse, glad that the ugly people, who might bleed and die, were leaving.
For weeks after that, the patient refused at least one pill about every three days. He was now down to five tiny cups of pills with his juice. So the Dispenser eyed him with interest as he approached the counter one evening.
The blue-scrubbed patient surveyed the array of his pills on the counter. He jabbed his finger on the counter beside a black star-shaped pill. “That one!” The Dispenser picked up the black-star pill and put it aside.
Suddenly he jabbed the counter beside a tri-colored capsule. “I want more of that one!” he yelled. “Another one! Like this! Yes!”
The surprised Dispenser shook its head. “No. You can’t have more of that pill. Only one.”
“Only one … Only one … Only one,” the patient mumbled to himself, genuinely distraught, as he picked up the pill and put it hurriedly in his mouth. The Dispenser scooped the other pills into the tiny cups, and pushed them and the juice cup toward the patient.
When the Dispenser slid the signature pad toward the patient, he asked curiously, “Why did you want more of that particular capsule?”
“Colors,” the patient answered, making loops and jagged angles in one long pen-stroke on the pad. “Need more colors. Chickens white. Horses brown. They need more colors. I remember … animals with colors never get hurt or die. More colors!”
Weeks later, all the farm animals had changed colors. Even the pig was just a dirty pale pink, its back covered with springy hairs the patient had never noticed before amid the rippling green stripes. He wandered away from the farm that morning, now that the farm animals were just their boring natural colors. He was afraid for them, but didn’t understand why.
He glanced up at the circular building as he climbed the slope from the farm. The building was solid suddenly, not hazy and distorted. This was new. This was scary.
“NO!” he screamed at the Dispenser that evening. “MORE PILLS! MORE! NEED MORE PILLS!”
But the Dispenser quietly shook its head. “No. No more pills. You can’t go back. You can only go forward.”
The patient took his shrunken piles of pills in four tiny cups faithfully for weeks after that, without asking for any more removals. Things were changing. Outside of him. Inside of him. He was unsure. But he felt strangely good. Like he could do other things now. Other things, besides stare at animals. New things. Scary things.
When he arrived at the counter for his morning pills one day, the Dispenser smiled at him. The Dispenser was an old man with white hair and a sad face, wearing white scrubs. The patient had never noticed that before.
“You’re late,” the old man Dispenser said in a mildly chastising tone. “Didn’t your waist alarm go off to tell you to come get your morning pills?” Suddenly he noticed that the patient had placed a faded green washcloth between his waist alarm and stomach.
“Yes,” the patient said, blinking. “I felt it. I put something … over my tummy. So it … doesn’t hurt. Anymore. I felt it … a little. And came. So … I am here.”
The Dispenser smiled even more, and gave him his three small cups of pills. The patient’s signature that morning read “nokill me good nokill good.” The Dispenser, still smiling, added copious notes to the patient’s signature on the pad.
Days later, the patient was studying the high fences that marched up the lawn to end at the circular building. He was in a large wedge-shaped enclosure of only men like him, all bald and wearing blue scrubs. Their extended fence ran from their blue door into the building, to down and around the farm animal pens.
But there were other people beyond the fences on both sides, people who also stayed in the circular building. There were people wearing pink on the other side of one fence, with access to the building through a pink door. The pink people looked female.
There were also small people wearing yellow across the fence on the other side. The yellow people were short, some running in circles, around and around, calling “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” They were … childs. Children? Blinking away sudden memories, he turned and hurried down to the farm. He didn’t want to remember when he’d been small like that. When people had hugged him, loved him, and protected him. People who had bled red and died. And then left him all alone.
More time passed. One morning the old man Dispenser asked the patient why he was late again for morning meds. The patient stroked his long, scraggly hair. “I was looking. In bathroom mirror. My hair is bad. Someone … someplace to fix it?”
The Dispenser smiled. He’d uploaded enough notes that the Officials knew that the patient was beginning to heal. So they had instructed the weekly Shaver to only shave off the man’s beard, but let his hair start growing. They wanted to see if the patient would take the next step in his personal grooming. And he had.
Suddenly the Dispenser noticed something. “You’ve changed the washcloth under your waist-alarm, I see,” he said pleasantly.
“Yes. It’s blue. I wear blue,” the patient explained. “I like blue. Now I’m all blue.” He patted his hair again and seemed agitated. “Shaver? Can fix my ugly hair?”
“Yes,” the Dispenser nodded. “You can find the Shaver beside the cafeteria, in the hallway.”
“No! No! No!” the patient was saying a short while later. He was sitting in the barber chair, watching his shortening hair in the big mirror in front of him. “All off! All gone!”
“No,” soothed the Shaver, who was also an old man in white scrubs. “You can’t go back. Only forward, Dmitry. Wait until I finish. You’ll like having a nice haircut, instead of being shaved bald. I promise.”
“Can’t go back. Can’t go back. Can’t go back,” Dmitry muttered to himself as he stared in the mirror and watched the Shaver comb and clip his hair. His hair was brown, like the horse. With some silver strands. Old strands. But he wasn’t old. Not like the Dispenser and Shaver. Someone … someone had liked his brown hair. Someone else. Someone … special.
“Dmitry … Dmitry … Dmitry,” he mumbled to himself, as he walked down the long curved hallway to his room that evening. That was his … name. He had a name. He suddenly felt … more complete. He fell asleep that night with his new prickly haircut, amid echoes from the past. He dreamed of other people calling him by that name, long ago. Parents and siblings, teachers and friends. And … special friends, very special. Even one who had loved him passionately, as only a woman can love a man.
“Can I … go in there?” Dmitry asked the guard at the fence gate. He pointed to the females inside all wearing pink, next to his blue-men enclosure.
The guard nodded. “Yes, you can come in to visit. You just can’t touch any of the women. And you can’t go through that pink doorway into the building. Do you understand?”
Dmitry nodded. “Visit. Yes. Can’t touch. I can … only visit.”
The guard let him in through the gate. He walked across the lawn a few meters, then stopped and looked back. This felt odd. He was supposed to be over there, in the blue enclosure. This was the pink people enclosure. A hand absently went to his new haircut, still vaguely fragrant with an aftershave spritz.
He slowly turned to look around at the pink women. He spied one he’d noticed before from the blue-men enclosure. She looked young and pretty, and vaguely familiar. She had long brown hair with silver strands tied in a bundle hanging down her back. She was sitting on a bench under a tree. Dmitry walked over to her.
He stopped and stared down at her. Dressed in pink scrubs, she sat with her hands limply in her lap, palms up. She didn’t look up at him. She didn’t move at all. “I saw you,” he said, pointing. “From the fence. Over there.” Still no response. “I wear blue. I stay over there with the blue men.”
Still she didn’t move, her head cocked at a tilt as she stared at the grass. He wanted her to say something. Strange feelings suddenly welled up inside him, confusing him. He desperately needed her to say something. It had been too long. Why wouldn’t she talk to him?
He roughly shook her shoulder. “Look at me! I’m here! I’m back!” he said loudly.
Suddenly people in white scrubs came running toward him, as the woman with the ponytail, totally unresponsive, continued to stare at the grass. “Don’t touch her!” they screamed. “You can’t touch her!”
That night he had a nightmare. It was about a pretty woman with long brown hair. She smiled at him. She liked him. She laughed and kissed him. Then … smoke and fire. Explosions. Bad things. Too many bad things. He remembered running breathlessly down one burning alley after another, screaming out her name. When he’d found her, he’d pulled her limply into his lap, blood everywhere. But her eyes were also staring at nothing. She was empty too.
“Dmitry? Dmitry!” came a male voice through the fog of a painful dream.
Dmitry struggled awake, gasping for breath. His cheeks were wet, his throat full of salty tears.
“You were screaming,” said the man in white scrubs. “Here, take this.” He held out a pill and a small cup of water. “It’ll help you sleep, without the nightmares.”
Dmitry rose up on an elbow and reached out a shaking hand. He swallowed the pill and water. “It wasn’t her,” he sniffed, handing back the paper cup. “Under the tree. The pink lady. It wasn’t her.”
“I know,” the pill man said simply. “You can’t go back, Dmitry. You can only go forward.”
Dmitry looked up. This man was about his age. But half his face was badly scarred with tight, rippled skin that made his eye and mouth droop. The Night Nurse. Dmitry had only seen him a few times before. Somehow, that scarred face fit into his nightmare.
As the scarred man headed for the door, Dmitry called out, “You can’t go back either, can you?”
The Night Nurse paused, a hand tightening on the doorknob, then he briefly looked back. “No, I can’t. And neither can you. Good night, Dmitry.”
“And what is this pill?” asked Dmitry a week or so later, at morning med dispensing. He pointed to a tiny green pill shaped like a triangle.
“That’s one of the Restorative herbs, Dmitry,” answered the Dispenser. “You really need to take those, if you want to keep getting better.”
“Yes. I want to get better,” answered Dmitry. “What does it do? This Restor-a-tive?”
The old man stared at the pill. No one had ever asked him that question before. “It has herbs that make you stronger inside. It also helps balance and heal your mind. As you keep removing the other pills, these Restorative herbs will have a stronger effect. Helping you to get better. Helping you to keep moving forward.”
Dmitry nodded vaguely, staring at the other nine pills arrayed on the counter. “These other pills. What do they do?”
The Dispenser thought a moment, deciding. He then put fingers on three pills and pulled them into a separate pile. “These three are placebos,” he answered. “Fake pills. Sometimes broken minds get better only by thinking a pill is doing something to help them. So these pills are fake. It’s the people healing themselves.”
Dmitry stared at the three pills, then shook his head. “No. I don’t want any fake pills. Fake pills don’t help … moving forward. Can you take away all three of them, instead of just one?”
The Dispenser scooped up all three with a happy grin. “For you, Dmitry, since you are doing so well, I’ll remove all three placebos.”
A few days later, Dmitry headed sadly back to the farm. As the fog in his mind cleared, he’d been feeling lonely. He’d tried talking to other blue men in his enclosure, without success. They either ignored him, stared at him blankly, or ran away from him. Dmitry understood. They weren’t ready to move forward. But he was.
The Official people in white scrubs or white lab coats didn’t have time to talk to him. They were working, they said. And he never saw them when they weren’t working.
He’d gone back into the pink-scrub female enclosure a few times, always with a stern older woman in white scrubs beside him. But those pink women wouldn’t talk to him either. At best, they just smiled crookedly and said “Hello!” over and over and over. “Hello! Hello! Hello! Hello!” And he wasn’t allowed to go into the yellow children’s enclosure on the other side, since he’d shaken one of the pink females.
So he talked to the farm animals. Even without their psychedelic colors, the non-talking animals seemed friendlier. And he could pet their warm bodies without getting yelled at. The animal Officials, who all wore green scrubs, always smiled and nodded a greeting to him. But they were also too busy to talk to him.
Occasionally they let him hold a baby chick or piglet. Sitting cross-legged on the grass with one baby animal or the other in his lap, he wondered what they were thinking. They had no bad memories. They were all so new, having just been born, that they could only ‘go forward’ for the rest of their lives.
One time, he even had flash-memories of once being very young and having an animal for a pet. It was a spotted dog he called Lucky that he’d raised from a tiny puppy. It was so long ago. But he remembered having so much fun playing with Lucky. He realized then that he’d always found solace with animals. They couldn’t talk, but they could love. Lucky had loved him so much that he’d crawled on his belly, wimpering with a broken spine, to lick Dmitry’s face and bring him back to consciousness after that bomb had blown up their home.
Suddenly, Dmitry didn’t want to remember anymore. Shaking, he quickly stood up and thrust the newborn animal back into the arms of a startled green-scrub Official, before walking away rapidly up the slope.
“So how do you like your cage, Mr. Pig?” Dmitry asked the pig one day, as the porker snorted and slobbered up its breakfast in the trough. “How do you go forward, when this pen only lets you go in circles?”
Something shimmered through Dmitry, startling him. He too was going in circles, he suddenly realized. He wasn’t going forward either, only in circles, from the building down to the farm and back again. He abruptly turned and headed back up the slope toward the blue door in the circular building.
The old man at the dispensing counter seemed surprised, as he checked the wall clock while coming out of the back office. “You’re early, Dmitry,” he said. “You don’t get your evening meds for a few hours yet.”
“How do I … get out of this cage?” fumbled Dmitry. “If I want to go forward, I need to leave this building and these fences. You know that, don’t you?”
The Dispenser dropped his chin briefly. All his loved ones, his entire city were dead and gone from the face of the Earth. He could never go forward beyond this compound. Yet it was his job to help the patients go forward and eventually leave. Even his favorite ones, like Dmitry.
When the Dispenser looked up again, his eyes seemed filled with tears, as he quickly swallowed. “Go look for your Freedom, Dmitry,” he said in a shaky voice. “Start in the hallway.” Then the old man turned away, sniffing, and went back into his rear office.
Dmitry slowly walked down one side of the long, curved hallway. The cafeteria doors were closed, but it wasn’t mealtime. He waved at the Shaver in passing, who paused from shaving another head bald, to smile and nod at him.
He still shaved Dmitry’s face once a week. But it was up to Dmitry to decide when he needed a haircut. Dmitry had gotten used to having hair again. But he was dismayed at all the new silver strands he saw in that big mirror every time he had a shave or a haircut. It was definitely time to go forward, before all his hair was grey, and he was trapped here like the Dispenser and Shaver.
One end of the hallway was lined with doors to the bedrooms, open or closed, blue men stumbling in or leaving their tiny rooms. Some were stuck in their doorways, or leaning up against a wall by their doorways, all fearful their rooms and furnishings and meager belongings would be gone if they didn’t stay close by and guard them. Dmitry understood. He’d been like that once. His first few months here he’d only gone between his room and the cafeteria and dispensing counter. So much loss in that horrible war. These fearful bald men just weren’t ready to go forward yet.
Dmitry didn’t find anything helpful about his Freedom on that side of the hallway. So, when he reached the end of the hallway, and could hear the yellow children on the other side of the wall, Dmitry turned around and slowly went up the other side of the hallway.
Getting frustrated, he still didn’t see anything about Freedom. He ended up on the other end of the long hallway, by the offices of the white lab coat Officials. He noticed a huge posting board on the wall. On one side were announcements, such as the week’s menu in the cafeteria. And the upcoming monthly concert-under-the-stars: blue men on the first Friday of every month, pink women and yellow children on the third Friday of the month. In the middle of the board were names and numbers that Dmitry guessed must match the Officials to their offices.
At the far end of the board was a list of nonsense words. Silly words. Nothing useful to someone who wanted to—
Then a chill rocked Dmitry, head to toe. All the nonsense words made sense. That was the answer. Up there on the board, near the end wall to the pink women’s side. His Freedom. He started hyper-ventilating, his heart pounding. “No … No! Not now! Not yet!”
Dmitry turned and ran, around the corner to the exit hallway, past the dispensing counter and then out of the blue door. He paused on the front lawn, panting, long enough to catch his breath. Then he ran the rest of the way to the farm. The green Officials found him with his arms wrapped around the bars of the pigs’ enclosure, terrified and gasping for air.
Ten days later, Dmitry attended the monthly concert-under-the-stars, like he’d been doing for almost a year now. Other blue-scrubbed men wandered around aimlessly, since no one had to go in at sundown on concert nights. Dmitry sat in the front row, to minimize the distraction from the other blue men, so he could listen to the music.
He studied the musicians. They were all middle-aged, like Dmitry, to white-haired seniors, in a variety of pants and shirts. While playing, their faces were expressionless, except for slight frowns and moving lips as they read the music in the stands before them. Between songs, they ignored him, talking and joking with each other instead.
Dmitry suddenly felt a sharp pang of loneliness. He wanted to be part of a group of people like that again. People who liked him, people who joked and chatted with him. Friends and family. Faces he recognized, faces that lit up with smiles when they saw him.
Choking back tears, Dmitry realized that it was time to take a chance again. To march through his horrible memories and once more become part of the Living. To go forward and have a future away from medications, fences, and the blank stares of drugged patients. Dmitry started to tremble, tears falling down his cheeks. Suddenly, desperately, he wanted to be part of a group like that again, more than anything else in his life.
The next morning, Dmitry sat waiting on the metal bench across from the dispensing counter. He wore a clean set of blue scrubs, his hair neatly combed. There was stubble on his face, since the Shaver had told him that he was too busy to shave him out of his weekly rotation. A small packing crate from the cafeteria sat at his feet, filled with all his worldly possessions.
When the Dispenser arrived, he was surprised to see Dmitry sitting and waiting. But the old man quickly took in Dmitry’s clean clothes and crate and nodded over a sad smile, understanding.
The Dispenser went behind the counter to the rear office to drop off his sweater, then came out again. “Good morning, Dmitry,” he said over the counter. “Don’t you have something to tell me?”
“Yes. I do,” answered Dmitry, rising and approaching the counter.
“Freedom Restored Ends Entropy Despite Obnoxious Medications. FREEDOM.”
The Dispenser smiled broadly and nodded. The way Dmitry pronounced that phrase told the Dispenser that Dmitry understood it. And was ready to be discharged.
“I knew you were getting close to leaving,” the Dispenser said, opening a side drawer. “So I prepared your paperwork. This … is one of my favorite duties.”
The old man pulled out a piece of paper and a small card, and put them on the counter. “This card is your discharge from this Restorative Home for the War Insane,” he said, pushing the card toward Dmitry. “Put this in your wallet or pocket. You will need to carry this with you always.”
Dmitry reached over and picked up the card. He put it in his scrubs pocket, since he didn’t have a wallet. Not yet, anyway.
“And this piece of paper has the name and address of a cousin of yours, one Dr. Vladimir Portnoy,” the Dispenser explained, pushing the paper toward Dmitry. “He has a successful medical practice and a large home. And he is more than happy to have you join his family.”
Dmitry was surprised. That pesky little cousin Vladimir? The same one who used to slip vodka into his parents’ morning coffee? And would pinch Dmitry’s girlfriends and run, so they’d slap Dmitry instead? All grown up now and a doctor, with a family of his own?
“I’ll call you a jet-taxi, and then remove your waist alarm,” the Dispenser said, reaching for an odd-shaped phone Dmitry never knew was behind the counter.
“And then, Dmitry, you shall have your well deserved Freedom.”
Marilyn Martin is a writer and humorist. Her stories have appeared in “Deadman’s Tome,” “Strange Valentines” (antho – Whortleberry Press), “Cosmic Crimes,” “PerihelionSF,” “The Fifth Dimension” (these last two stories can be read for free on her Amazon Author Page), and the March 2013 “Universe Horribilis” (antho – Third Flatiron Press).
Marilyn also writes weekly non-fiction and humor columns for “ComputorEdge.com,” and is writing a new series of Science Fiction/Horror/Paranormal Tech novellas on Amazon Kindle called “Hunting Monster Aliens”.