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The Perimeter

by Will McIntosh

Publication Date—Oct 16, 2012

A chilling new short story from Hugo Award winner Will McIntosh.

The settlers of Cyan have not ventured far beyond the perimeter fence that keeps the planet’s strange creatures at bay. But one unlucky woman is about to find out what lies beyond…

Word Count ~ 7,109


A sound like the scrabbling of a hundred fingernails woke Phillipa. At first she thought it was part of whatever dream she’d been having, but it grew louder as she came fully awake instead of fading away.

It was coming from both the closet and the ceiling. She couldn’t imagine what it could be. There were no mice on Cyan, but it was too uneven—too intentional—to be machinery. She pulled the covers to her chest and drew her legs up, her bare feet suddenly feeling exposed. Nothing from the wild was supposed to be able to penetrate the settlement’s perimeter fence, but how many failures and breaches had there been since they’d arrived ten years ago? Twenty at least. More every year.

The skittering stopped.

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