As I made to step off the sidewalk of a sunny city, a car with dark windows pulled to a stop right in front of me. I scurried back up onto the walk, frowning at having my way forward blocked. But as I made to step around the intruding car, I peered within and paused, realizing the windows were not just dark. The inside was brimming with plants. Green tendrils pressed against the passenger side window. I could not see the driver.
The window slid down. Some tendrils popped free and I jerked back to avoid the leafy onslaught. From within the verdant depths, a voice said, “A little help?”
“What’s wrong with your side?” I asked the wall of leaves.
“It’s jammed,” he replied. “Pull me out!”
I popped the handle and, keeping a firm grip on the jamb, I shoved my entire arm into the thicket. Cool leaves and twigs tickled me, then my fingers brushed against warm skin. We clasped at the wrist and, bracing my feet on the sidewalk, I hauled a man out. Vines wrapped around his torso and clung to his ankles, but they tore free as he slithered from the car and lay sprawled on the sidewalk.
With a raised eyebrow, I regarded one tendril inching its way out the door. “Looks like you brought the forest back with you.”
“You know how they say,” the man panted, “leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but memories?”
He climbed to his feet and brought his face close to mine. “They weren’t kidding.” Making a ‘forget it’ gesture at the shrubby car, he stumbled away.
Squinting at the escaping tendril, I poked it back up into the car. Then I shut the door on the forest within and went to call a tow truck.
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Little Blue Marble 2022: Warmer Worlds
Featuring “I Hope This Email Does Not Find You!”
The last eight years have been the warmest on record.
Little Blue Marble‘s anthology of speculative climate fiction and poetry from an international slate of authors mourns and hopes in equal measure for the fate of our world and its ecosystems.
May these visions of the future inspire collective action before climate chaos becomes irreversible.
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