“Hollow” — Lorna Wood


It was the greatest experience of my life, but I feel weird about it now. You go there with your ticket and put on your body armor and everything, and then it’s kind of like the old 2-D games, but the aliens are really there, and when you shoot them, they don’t just explode or what have you. They actually bleed and fall down and cry out. I could swear one of them touched me when I went by.
Zima says she heard it’s a scam, and the aliens aren’t holograms at all but real Undesirables, disguised with holographic effects. So the Game Runners are taking your money and getting you to do their dirty work for them on top of it.
But that is so messed up. If it was true there wouldn’t be nearly as many people playing as there are, I’m pretty sure. And Zima sure as hell wouldn’t have been in there so long. What’s she doing, anyway, organizing a resistance? Either that or she got to level 50 or something. I am so going to tell her she’s full of it when she comes back.






Lorna Wood is a violinist and writer in Auburn, Alabama, with a Ph.D. in English from Yale. She was a finalist in the 2017 Jerry Jazz Musician contest, the 2016 Neoverse Short Story Competition, and the SHARKPACK Poetry Review’s Valus’ Sigil competition. Wood’s fiction has appeared in Jerry Jazz MusicianWith CandlelightEvery Day FictionMysterical-EDeadman’s TomeBetween Worlds ZineDark Magic (Owl Hollow Press anthology), No Extra WordsWild VioletBlue Monday Review, and on Kindle. Lorna is Associate Editor of Gemini Magazine and has also published creative nonfiction, poetry, and scholarly essays. She blogs here.