December 20th – Monday morsel
This weeks morsel comes from The New Space Opera 2, a collection of science fiction short stories.
“The young woman is her own ancient self, the primordial Carlotta Boudaine, dewed with sweat in the hot night air, her legs caught up in a spindled cotton sheet. The bedroom’s small window is cranked open, and in the breezeless distance a coyote wails.
Well, look at me, Carlotta marvels: skinny girl in panties and a halter, sixteen years old – no older than a gnat’s breath – taking shallow little sleep-breaths in the moonlit dark. Poor child can’t even see her own ghost. Ah, but she will, Carlotta thinks – she must.
The familiar words echo in her mind as she inspects her dreaming body, buried in its tomb of years, eons, kalpas. When it’s time to leave, leave. Don’t be afraid. Don’t wait. Don’t get caught. Just go. Go fast.
Her ancient beloved poem. Her perennial mantra. The words, in fact, that saved her life.
She needs to share those words with herself, to make the circle complete. Everything she knows about nature of the physical universe suggests that the task is impossible. Maybe so…but it won’t be for lack of trying.”
From the short story Utriusque Cosmi by Robert Charles Wilson.