An apparition. As the second sun fell behind a rocky horizon, the conical tail of a long-falling star appeared against the backdrop of deep blue night. Blazing with light, it outshone surrounding clutches of stars. Pointing down toward the disappearing sun like an arrow shot into the heavens, as if someone had taken issue with their sole source for life.
“Disaster…” The whispered word repeated over and over, taken up like a chant among several voices around me. We sat upon the spine of the world, one of many such spiny mountain ranges, and the word seemed to fall away down into the deep, rocky trenches, vanishing into the night.
Still gazing up at the wonder above, I asked, “Disaster for what?”
Eyes and teeth flashed in the dark as faces turned toward me. I had not started this mountain trek with this group, but we’d had the same destination in mind, so I had joined them somewhere between flat ground and here. A thoughtful hum rose from their ranks as they considered my question.
“The oceans may continue to rise,” one of them postulated.
“Bigger earthquakes,” said another.
“Restlessness of spirits.”
“You know,” the last said, “disaster. The apparition is an ominous portent.”
“You forgot acid rain and deforestation,” I said. “All those things happened last year. And the year before. Our planet is dying. But this-” I waved my hand toward the distant comet, “has nothing to do with that.” My hand dropped back into my lap, heavy with the futility of it all. “The only ominous portents are us.”
The apparition, the mere comet, wandered along its journey around the suns. At such a great distance, cold and heedless of our tragedies. No wisdom to impart as it passed.
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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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3 thoughts on “The Hopeful Wanderer – Visible at Sunset”
I really liked this one, somehow sad and hopeful
Like things will continue on even when disaster overcomes us, you know?
And hopefully stronger than before