Wildlife biologist, Northwesterner, reluctant passenger in this wild 21st century ride.
If there was anything you needed to know at SeaCity Aquarium, Irene was the one to ask. What was the upper temperature for the Windows on Washington tank? Where were the extra petri dishes for the Plankton Lab? Which computer is the server for backing up the sea otter live cams? She knew everything and would gladly help.
The ragged peaks over black trees slashed through with blood red ribbons of shrubs, the sailing dinghy surging on a sea recoiling chaotically from its forced union with that accursed land, the full-body exhaustion of fighting to control the tiller and mainsheet to keep the lunging craft from capsizing altogether.... A lesser spirit would have been overcome by such trials.
Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. No, wait – the exact phrasing on the Alien poster cheekily displayed in the Exobiology Lab was, “In space no one can hear you scream”. Which of course is highly contextual, since you obviously needed air to be able to scream, and anyone sharing your airspace would hear that scream. Then there were electronic communications systems. In this case, the communications system that had broadcast Hannah Sudha’s scream to the dozens of crewmembers in the Lander Command Module and hundreds more watching from the ship orbiting above. All of this tumbled through her mind in a wave of mortification.
The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window. Matt spotted it first, tapping Alice’s arm and pointing at the glow flickering through the trees. She paused the truck’s jostling ascent and nodded silently, then eased the clutch back out slowly to keep the tires from slipping into the meandering fissure eroded down the center of road. The headlights swept across the squat structure as they rounded the bend, light reflecting off what fragments of glass still clung to the window frames. Black shadows from the porch rails and hanging fragment of porch roof were sent racing fast across the cabin’s blank face. There was a flutter of movement in the window and the candle went out.
Had you asked me in my youth to name the most iconic summer food, I likely would have gone with an orange popsicle. Sweet and mouth-chilling, forming thin icy flakes where your teeth split a bite free of the wooden stick subtly stained with a yellow dye 6/red dye 40 mix perfectly blended to produce glorious orange translucence with that summer sun shining through. Iconic. I mean, I suppose you could eat them in other seasons, but what would be the point?
There weren’t always dragons in the valley. And frankly, Merlin, I am sick of your shit. Do you remember when we could leave the sheep and sneak off to the pub for a pint? Of course not. You haven’t had to watch sheep for years, have you? Since finagling your way into that sweet Royal Wizard gig.
The Highglades, above the Vapor
There weren't always dragons in the Valley. But then, there weren’t always humans in the mountains. When I say “the mountains” children, you must remember that the Highglades, that indeed all of the island nations, were once what we called mountains towering above our homes in the low wide places you have never seen. What you think of as mountains…. Hmph, well, had you seen them in their full height….