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"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.

Heart of Pine

Dino Hajiyorgi was born in Istanbul in 1963. He currently resides and works in Greece. He is a 1987 graduate of Film School of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He has worked on screenplays for animation series for Greek and German studios. A honorary member of the Athenian Club of Science Fiction, his short stories have appeared in newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and in the Greek edition of Asimov's Magazine. The 2012 Kindle edition "Crows and Other Stories" is a personal collection of some of his short horror tales.

Senior Giuseppe's pain is grand. His neighbors see him exiting his little house every day, draped inside his dark coat, they watch him as he takes tombstone hill on heavy tread.
His little boy crossed the road chasing the ball. Didn't look left or right. Didn't hear the stampeding horse. A heavy carriage and a cruel wheel crushed the child in two.
The doctors said there was nothing they could do for his poor kid.
They see him walking for the graves and wave to him in sympathy. Courage, Geppetto, they think in their heads.
It is carved on the frozen gravestone. "Pinocchio" it spells.
He shed black tears begging the blue fairy.
"A gift is never returned," she answered.
"If he was made of wood, I could have saved him," he keeps reminding himself bitterly.
Still, just recently... his step has a lighter hop. A little pine tree is growing on tombstone hill.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Author Comments

Not much to say about "Heart of Pine" other than it does not reflect my writing style. Once in a blue moon I get hit by a poetic streak and something special may bloom out of that. I aimed for an elliptical narration, hoping the reader would fill the blanks, based on his familiarity with the so much loved myth.

- Dino Hajiyorgi
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