At a Snail’s Pace

chris white writes

Arriving to Arratha, City of Science – Michal Matczak

The University had stood for an age, harvesting the finest minds of an entire system, spreading slowly across the skies, a sandstone and ivy cancer, blotting out the sun.

For those of us living in its shadow, it was a reminder of what we could never have, and of the privileges of the ivory tower. Our women stolen, as well as our children – and we were supposed to thank them! I always listened to my mother: Never talk to strangers. We ran, and hid in the mountains.

Yet still they came.

The air-bladders on the ships inflated, at a snail’s pace.

Surely they would discover us. Surely.

They didn’t – and we struck, our flotilla silently approaching, the setting sun at our backs and revenge before us.

Stone doesn’t burn.

But books sure do.

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