Chloe glanced again at the handsome man who was lingering at a sculpture. The sculpture was a caryatid, a column shaped like a woman, in this case, a celestial being. He gazed up at the stone carving of the heavily robed Herald of the Gods. The Herald too seemed to gaze down at him. She pointed up to the heavens with a hand that held a scroll, the scroll upon which was written the spell that brought the world into being. Her other arm bent gracefully behind her head. The sculptor had captured the moment just before the herald unrolled the scroll and read the spell. The moment when she stretched after a long journey from the center of creation to its outer edge, where the gods had deigned the mortal world should be placed. The moment before she spoke the spell and the world bloomed into existence.
“Earthquakes? This ain’t California.”
Sheriff Lockley shook her head at her deputy.
“Well it’s not Kansas either and we get the occasional tornado some summers,” she said, peering at the television screen in her office.
The sheriff, two deputies, and the science reporter for the Acton Daily were watching the latest report on the strange rumblings that had started almost a year ago.
“We’re just lucky, Grubbs” the reporter said. “We get a little taste of all the natural disasters.”
Grubbs crossed her arms and frowned. “If it’s just earthquakes, why is it happening a few times a week now? I’ve never heard of that. That can’t be natural.”
Lockley wondered the same thing.
“These may be kaput,” Mrs. Santi said, patting her thighs, “but thanks to you, I’ve got these.” She made fists with her hands and raised her arms in the traditional flexing-biceps pose.
She immediately dropped her hands to the wheels of her chair and pulled forward, propelling herself toward Jim.
Sometimes a thing isn’t good or evil in itself. The sequence is a thing like this. It becomes good or evil when you touch it. If you are good, it becomes good. If you are evil, it becomes evil. But we humans…we are both. What happens when we touch it?
Sam lay her fingers on the page where those words were written. The man who’d written them had been dead for almost a century.
She says that I have always lived in darkness. But I’m fine with it. I don’t need the light. I don’t even necessarily want the light. I’m not doing this for me.
I’m doing this for her. Because she wants me to see the world the way she sees it.
“You can blow it. You can chew it—”
“Whoa-whoa! What are we talking about here?”
Sunny paused. “Gum,” he said. “What did you think we were talking about?”
“Never mind. Go on.”
The Sovereign is coming to our town.
We must have entertainments ready. We must have feats to display.
We must demonstrate the strength and wit and spectacle that she expects from her people.
We must do this all the more because we were not chosen for our merit. We were chosen by chance.
“How old it is it?”
Thurston peered out of the trawler’s window at the floating chunk of orbital debris, as he awaited an answer from the newest member of his crew.
“From this far out, it looks to be about…a hundred or so years,” Jiang said. “Largely intact.”
Thurston turned to her. “And no one else has claimed it yet? That’s unlikely.”
“What should I do, boss?” the pilot asked.
“The biofilm is encircling the planet now. And there’s nothing we can do to stop it.”
They say that a sculptor doesn’t create what she sculpts. She only reveals what is already there in the medium. I was not finding that to be true. Either there was nothing to be revealed in the lump of clay that sat on the workbench before me, or I didn’t have the skill that a real sculptor is supposed to have. The skill of sight. The skill to see what it is that is seeking to be revealed in the medium.
Come on, I thought. Reveal yourself.