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The Shadow City

There was a time, a time that came before perpetual darkness descended, before the sun went to starlit mass gathering it’s golden rays for penance. Before the earth shattered. Not many of us live in the only city of Eugna. It rises up in the north in a now deceased land. We exist in this darkness pandering false prophecies as we go allowing the night to conceal our desperation. It’s a bare life in a world bleached by blackness. Those of us left depend upon the dome bubble that feeds us oxygen and virtual warmth. We cluster into chanting groups recalling a time of sun and lavender and attempt to reorganize the puzzle pieces of this bleak existence. The sentence of dark dwellers.

I walk these silent streets and remember that Grandmother Lona spoke in sentences of blood moons and sunbursts. She grew up in a time when life was genuine, pressing her finely sculpted nose into sunflowers and roses, vanilla and cinnamon spices, but even then the fissures were spreading like the knobby fingers of dangerous gospel through the ice shelf signaling the big break, the sinking into a new era.

Close your eyes now and picture it. The oceans boiling, the churning of pain stifling your breath. What is next? A small sector of us retreats to the corners of the barren, black city. We speak in tongues about possibility with a price. An escape to a living planet via the Roton. Alas, the Roton is a small ship, not all of us will go. And what will be there when we arrive?

So I ramble along these streets and consider the emptiness. Will I find myself bouncing through eternity in the dark? Will I discover myself in another sphere? Soon I must decide whether to spend a lifetime’s allotment for food. Buy a lottery chance for a spot on the Roton or choose to walk these ancient dark sands of this forgotten city?

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Hello everyone! This story was written in response to a writing prompt and photo from D. Wallace Peach who is an outstanding fantasy author. Please visit her blog and participate in the prompt. I would love to read your work. You can visit the original post here: https://mythsofthemirror.com/2019/03/01/march-speculative-fiction-prompt/

40 thoughts on “The Shadow City

  1. Eugna doesn’t sound too bad, but obviously we should have listened to Grandmother Lona’s wisdom before all the sunflowers and spices disappeared. Bleak existence, indeed. Whether I would spend my allotment on a chance at a seat on the Roton? I don’t know, Lana. Only the boldest adventurers would sacrifice their safety for whatever else might be out there. A chilling choice. πŸ™‚

  2. I’m so glad you wrote something for the prompt, Lana. The imagery of the world before darkness is such a powerful contrast to the darkness of Eugna. And I love the choice that the character has to make, everything for a mere chance. Thanks for playing, my friend. I can’t wait to share! ❀

  3. When I read the title and saw the photo I thought it was going to be about a simple ghost town in West Texas. Then I was pulled into a bleak world and wandered in darkness chanting with the others. Well done outside your comfort zone!

    • Hi Pauline! It is good to hear from you. I actually stopped blogging for awhile. Work and responsibilities getting the best of me, but I’m trying to go forward again. I enjoyed stepping outside my usual story topics to try this one. Thanks!

  4. Pingback: March Speculative Fiction Round-Up | Myths of the Mirror

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