They say there was a time, long ago, when the Great Ocean wasn’t large enough to encompass the planet. That, thousands upon thousands of years ago, there was so much land they
called this planet Earth.
Of course, the tale of planet Earth is nothing more than that; a legend, passed down from generation to generation by our clan elders. It’s a children’s tale, the kind grandparents whisper
in the ears of the young as they tuck them in to bed for the night. Some believe the tales to be true, believe wholeheartedly in a time when earth was in such abundance that people could
set foot on it. My best friend, Skydancer, is one such person. She’s the type who’s convinced she’ll one day discover an actual island rising out of the endless sea.
I, on the other hand, do not believe in the tales of the old and senile. How can I? The idea that there was once enough land, enough earth, to so much as stand on is laughable. It’s an
impossible concept, a wild fancy of wishful thinkers. Earth is the rarest mineral on the planet. It was a fact, one I could see plain as day from where I was sitting in the Heart of the City-
Trees. Seven in total, each immaculately kept in their tiny patches of soil, each older than anyone on the City-Ship by more than a century. I leaned forwards, pressing my palm against
the massive trunk of the tree Yggdrasil, and breathed deeply. Oxygen, untainted and unfiltered, filled my lungs. It tasted sweet on my tongue. I couldn’t stop a smile from blossoming on
my face even if I’d tried. The chance to breathe the untainted air of the Heart was a rare one, and I was blessed to be given the opportuni-
“Stormweather!” A loud shout and a harsh bang! interrupted my thoughts. I whirled about, heart beating madly in my chest, to see Skydancer silhouetted in the entrance to the Heart.
The heavy metal door had been thrown wide, slamming against the wall behind it. She stood there, panting, hair like fire plastered to her cheeks, blue eyes bright with glee, and a smile a
mile wide stretching across her face.
“Skydancer?” I tried, and failed, to keep the disappointment from my voice. I should have known Skydancer would interrupt my time in the Heart. “What is it?”
“Your father,” she gasped, trying to catch her breath and speak all at once, “your father has returned!”
I was out of the Heart before the final word left her lips.
To be continued
Originally published in Bandersnatch Vol. 47 Issue 08 on February 7, 20187