The Hopeful Wanderer – Evidence of a Struggle

Along a well-maintained forest path, I found myself walking beside an old stone fence. Sunlight streaming through the leaves overhead caught among mossy fibers, turning them to filaments of fire, wreathing the green fence in a golden glow. Rocks piled on rocks made for a lumpy surface, but the thick cushion of moss looked so inviting, I had to stop for a sit.

I plopped down next to a thick spike of stone that reared up from among the rest of the rocks. As high as my head, coming to a point. I leaned back to regard this rock. Some of the moss near the top had rubbed off. In the bare patch, instead of the gray stone I expected, white glinted in the sun rays.

Standing with a scrape of my shoes on the fence, I wiped away the moss around the bare spot, green catching beneath my fingernails. More white revealed, less like any kind of rock. Smoother. More like…

Enamel.

Frowning, I took in the row of fence with knew eyes. The shape and structure of the piles. Realizing that beneath all that moss were enormous teeth.

Under my palm pressed against what must be an eye tooth of the largest kind, I sensed grooves carved into the surface. Scraping more moss away released a wet, green scent. A crude etching of a battle lay beneath, of small people battling a giant. On front of the tooth was an inscription.

“Dedicated to the brave fallen warriors who redeemed this land from a giant. May we flourish here in peace.”

I glanced around at the empty forest surrounding me. A narrow footpath and a mossy stone fence the single markers of humanity. I guessed they hadn’t needed the land from the giant so bad after all.

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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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