Entered in the Harland Awards 2013 – 15th place – 1st double act
The world is covered in perpetual twilight by pollution. The creatures of the forest blame mankind and have begun to eradicate them from the lands. Onne, the meek son of their leader, leads a raid against a factory held by the humans. There his beliefs are tested, as is his loyalty and morality.
‘Come on. Hurry!’
Tilia races on, from doorway to doorway through the pale dusk light. For her, it’s a competition. Everything is a competition, a game in which she’s already bested him five, twenty, a hundred year-rings. She smiles at him, the snake on her white skin writhes, and then she turns her gaze back to the road. The barricade is visible in the distance, and beyond it, a streak of devastating Sol-light.
Onne tries to speed up despite his burning calves and screaming lungs. The city air is heavier than the forest air and every breath sears his lungs. He clenches his fists and tries to force his feet into a rhythm. The barricade is near, another forty steps, maybe fifty.
“This story is absolutely beautiful. The style is a joy to read. Wonderful choice of words, without a fuss,
but visual and fascinating. The descriptions are original and striking. I have not read many stories of this caliber.”
“What a relief, this story! … A strong, gripping tale…”