“The Mind-Meld” in Cloaked Press anthology

My short story “The Mind-Meld” is in the latest Cloaked Press anthology, Spring Into SciFi 2023. This is my second time in a Cloaked Press anthology; last March, “Macbeth Undone” appeared in Spring Into Scifi 2022.

Cover for Spring into SciFi 2023

Here is a sneak peek at this story:

The Mind-Meld

by Karl El-Koura

All of his life people had underestimated Lou Gare. From age one to age one hundred and twenty-three, no one expected more from him than he’d already proved. His biological parents had signed him over to the responsibility of the state when he was two, but he’d learned from that experience, resetting his cycle so he wasn’t cranky during the day and energetic at night. He found grade school boring, but after his first bad report card and the threat of being held back, he taught himself to sit still and listen and behave enough of the time to get passing grades. Then much better grades in high school, when he realized just getting good grades meant a free ride at any college he chose. On and on…no one expected him to graduate top of his class from MIT. His graduate thesis, demonstrating that emotions experienced by one highly trained person could be detected with reasonable accuracy by another highly trained person, was interesting, according to his advisor. Certainly no one on the committee who granted him his doctorate expected him to turn his interesting but impractical idea into a business, or for him to transform that business into a multinational corporation that generates billions of dollars each year.

And now—was he going to start underestimating himself? The computer models proved he’d succeeded; the animal trials confirmed it. Was he going to balk now because it was time to finally find a willing human participant?

The Mime Corporation’s Board of Directors wanted him gone and forgotten, had already pushed him out as CEO of his own company. And he’d let them, so he could devote all of his time to the problem that had obsessed him since Marissa had…well, since she’d slammed her racecar into a concrete wall on the three-hundred-and-thirty-ninth lap of the Daytona One Thousand and burned to death in a fiery ball of expensive metals, the majority of her thirteen million followers experiencing her agony with her.

Marissa had died…five years ago now…but he had found a way to bring her back. Now he just needed to take that final step.


Keep reading by buying your copy of Spring Into SciFi 2023.

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