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Earthwitch

Holly Karlsson
Holly Karlsson

Holly is an American fantasy & science fiction author who loves magic, dragons, and old forests.

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ls_wasteland

My home is a wasteland, the oceans vacant, the dust-choked fields deserted. I watch as the last ship takes to the sky, white flames propelling them towards the trash-speckled blackness of space.

“You should have left with the others,” Madison says, her green eyes somber behind the visor of her gas mask.

“You didn’t,” I say.

Madison shakes her head. “Earth deserves a record of her final moments. A witness.” She’s a scientist to the end.

“She doesn’t need us,” I say, “but we do need her.” I kneel, press my palm to the bone-dry dirt.

There’s an ache in my chest, a hollow, the loss still fresh. Don’t abandon us now, I beg.

“We need to go below,” Madison says.

I ignore her and listen to my ragged breaths inside my suit.

I’m still here, I say, pushing my thought down beneath the ground, down to Gaia’s burning heart far below.

The silence threatens to crush me, and I resign myself to death, to the end.

There’s a flicker inside my chest, a tiny seed that grows. Something pushes up between my fingers, and Madison gasps.

A tiny tendril of green growth unspools across my glove.

“Not the end,” I say.

NOTE:
Photo by Lukasz Szmigiel on Unsplash. / The Brazilian Amazon is burning and I’m worried. Though Earthwitch features a fictitious world similar to ours, the lesson is the same. We need to take action to preserve our habitat for the future and pay attention to the effect of our collective actions (individually and globally) on the environment. If you’re concerned about the fires like I am, there are long-lasting steps you can take to help.  
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