Monthly Archives: June 2016

Negev

Do you remember?

We swore to make the desert bloom, you and I.

We all did. Each and every one of us.

What greater desert can be found than this? This world, this galaxy… It will all bloom one day. First here. First Negev. First our world, so far from earth and the ancient battleground, where we are, perhaps, safe from those older than man, should they come back to finish what they started.

Then the galaxy. We will heal the ancient battlegrounds, and they, too, will bloom. And should Avaddon return then…. Well, maybe then we will be able to beat them.

I saw the first wild flower today.

It was lovely. Just a small, frail thing, clinging to life in the desert, surviving only by virtue of its enhanced genetics. It was the only plant in sight, as far from Ben-Gurion and the ruins of the Merkava as Negev is from earth, it seems.

I knelt next to it, cupping the blossom in my hands for just a moment. The petals were broad and blue, thin like tissue. A gift from the posthumans, a preview of what our world could be like. With the Merkava’s resources gone, we could not have done it ourselves.

I wrenched it from the ground, crushing the flower in my fist.

Not at the cost of our son.

I’m so sorry, Ester.

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Henbit and Clovers

The sun was shining for the first time in weeks, and it was mid-morning on a Thursday. James knew it was a Thursday because he still meticulously counted the days as they passed in his calendar, even though many didn’t seem to care anymore. James still cared, even if it had little real world meaning any longer. It had finally stopped storming and finally gotten warm…spring was here and he was determined to enjoy it.

In his old life, he would have been locked up in a school room at this time of day, only able to look out the window. Now he could go wherever he wanted and do whatever he wanted, instead of sitting at the tiny desk and waiting for three o’clock to come.

The boy stood at the edge of the forest, peeking out from around the trunk of a large pine tree. The street in front of him, the back road of a big neighborhood, seemed empty. If he squinted his eyes he could even pretend to see what it used to look like. Without the broken windows, open doors, abandoned cars, or slightly overgrown flower beds. It was a nice sort of pretend, anyway. He had once run through a neighborhood kind of like this one with his friends, playing tag and superheroes and dinosaurs.

But now those friends were gone, and he wasn’t allowed to run about freely anymore.

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Brotherly Envy

Vestanji thirsted for revenge. All he could see was Teb’s smirk, his unbroken stride when Vestanji fell and got the bloody gash on his knee. He ignored the pain in his knee and flew after Teb, chasing him through shady parks and across streets bustling with cart drivers and pedestrians. Vestanji’s nose had stopped bleeding, but not before staining his muslin tunic.

I’ll never forgive him, he thought. Why does he torment me?

Teb was a year younger, but almost as tall as Vestanji and slightly heavier. Vestanji narrowly avoided being trampled by a cantering horse as Teb veered onto the portico of a white marble structure.

Good! I’ll trap him inside that classroom!

Teb changed course in mid-stride and leapt onto the grassy lawn surrounding the white building. Vestanji saw the maneuver and forced one more burst of speed. Concentrating on closing the gap, arm extended to grab Teb from behind, Vestanji didn’t see the men, deep in conversation, coming out of the building until it was too late. The best he could do was slow down and lurch sideways.

Teb darted around the building and headed for a row of bushes full of red blossoms. Vestanji slammed into a tall man wearing colorful, expensive robes and a matching turban.

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