It was in a nondescript flat, wooden box in the basement, a leftover from previous tenants now long gone. Or the tenants who came of left before the last couple who lived here. Rosalind couldn’t really tell, nor was she particularly interested in dragging that heavy box upstairs to take to the corner for trash day. Something about the box piqued her curiosity, though, especially the light that seemed to shine through one of the uncovered edges.
It took her an hour to pull and drag the box up the wooden stairs.
After finding a hammer, she flipped it to the prong side and began pulling out the nails, carefully tossing them in a neat pile. The wood seemed old, and gave way to her strength as she pulled out a large, round pane of stained glass. Looking at the wooden walls in the living room and dining room and the square window panes, it occurred to Rosalind that this could not have been installed in the house because it was too big for any house. It belonged to a church, perhaps a church long gone.
As she studied the design and colors, she noted the familiar image of the Virgin Mary and Child, how the pane seemed to capture the sunlight coming into the kitchen as if to store its ray like a solar panel. The room began to fill with a warm glow, and the air was suddenly fragrant with the smell of fresh roses. As Rosalind began to fill with a certain and familiar quiver of her state of “tipsy,” it occurred to her that no church would have commissioned such a work for their sanctuary, for it would not have been deemed acceptable for the masses.
What was once thought to be basement junk was now a center of attention in her living room as found art to outsiders who visited her as it hung on her wall seeming to have its own source of light even as the sun set outside.
Waiting for night’s rest became useless about a year ago.
To be honest, I’m not sure my existence here is proof that I am alive. I could be in some sort of Purgatory. Food and water tends to be whatever I find on this island, and the cave I use for rest is warm–though strangely empty of inhabitants I would expect in a dark place in the wild.
But no one else and nothing else living beyond plants exists here. The sun never fully rises or sets. It hovers, as if time itself is waiting for something.
I remember life before the here that is now.
I remember falling asleep at night, waking up to go to campus for a meeting, and seeing/feeling heat as if the sun itself had landed in the middle of town. I remember the crush of debris and white-hot air as the megaton warhead exploded and my skin began to boil–then there was here.
It was cold to his fingers when he touched the edges of the canister.
He expected to see a candle when he crouched to the ground to pick it up, but no, it was a free standing flame inside a lattice patterned canister in the middle of the park at night. The flame seemed to dance back and forth as he picked up the metal frame as if to speak to him. He looked at his German Shepherd companion keeping him company during his night walk and noticed the hair flailing out from his tail as he slowly backed away as if in silent alarm. The man returned the light to the ground and also began to back away, suddenly feeling dizzy and slightly panicked. The light began to ascend from its cage like a firefly and inch its way toward the man and his dog as they turned back to the narrow path towards home. Both wind and feet rustled through the forest as they fled from uncontrolled flames that now consumed dry branches and leaves left in their wake.
“From the beginning, Delany, in his fiction, has pushed across the traditional boundaries of science fiction, embraced the other, and questioned received ideas about sex and intimacy.“
“Here are Samuel R. Delany, Joe Haldeman, Simon R. Green, Ian R. MacLeod, Ian McDonald and Todd McCaffrey singing the praises of female sci fi greats like Ursula K. Le Guin, Octavia E. Butler, and Andre Norton.” http://www.themarysue.com/heforshe-scifi/at
‘Crumbs’ – The First Ever Ethiopian Post-Apocalyptic, Sur | Shadow and Act. “Directed by Spaniard Llansó, who actually
lives in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), “Crumbs” stars Daniel Tadesse, and
tells a story of diminutive superhero Gagano (played by Tadesse), a junk collector, who embarks on a “surreal epic
journey” that’s set against “post-apocalyptic Ethiopian landscapes,” says the press description.”
– By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act