Sweet, floral perfume hung on the stale air of a forgotten warehouse. Wafting among corroded pipes, which wove their way along a high ceiling and around long, dusty windows. Drifting through the trash and dead leaves scattered across a concrete floor. Reflecting off once-white walls and old, broken furniture.
I was following a trail of flowers.
Each blossom sprang from the concrete as if grown from dirt – fresh, colorful, trembling with life. The trail meandered this way and that, seeming to follow the least messy path through the warehouse. Once, it stopped at the windows, leaving a large cluster of plants there. A circle rubbed clean of muck showed where hands had wiped away the dirt for a clear view outside.
I did not bother looking out myself. This city, I knew, only decayed.
At the farthest end of the warehouse, a curious thing hung from above. A bower of flowers, twisted around themselves and ballooning upward to the ceiling, where strong roots dug into cracks in the plaster. This bower reached almost to the floor, where a gaunt woman stood weaving more blooms in among the rest. A carpet of blossoms festooned the floor around her. The trail ended here.
Candlelight illuminated my approach, evidencing my following of her, yet she did not stop her work. The plants around the hem of her dress seemed to grow without pause.
When I had come close, I asked, “Who are you?”
She drew another cluster of flowers from the floor to the bower in her hands. “Nobody,” she replied.
Groaning sounded from above and I tipped my gaze upward. The roots along the ceiling spread even farther. “And what are you doing here?”
A small, bitter smile. “Nothing. Just trying to make a small change.”
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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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