He walks through soft, gently rising meadow, anticipating the view of his valley home that the low summit ahead will provide. He has been away for too long. But where has he been? What could have been so important to take him away from the land he loves? His mind lingers on that mystery for a moment before the scent of summer grass once more envelopes him in a warm embrace and beckons him on. As he walks, buttercups and poppies appear in the grass. He’d not noticed them before, but now he is surrounded by bright blooms that tremble in the warm, summer breeze, their heads nodding to the bees that buzz erratically among them.


And look! A large grey bird, a heron, taking off and flying low over the field, casting a small shadow beneath its wings until they carry it steadily higher into the deep blue sky, and away. How long has it been since he’s seen one of those?


Not far now. A small knot forms in his stomach; an anxiety that seems out of place, that feels wrong and yet, perhaps, is just the nerves of a traveller returning home. Where has he been? He pushes the thought aside. Nearly there – just a few more steps and the valley he knows so well will be revealed before him like a rug unro...

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Rod Webb
Apr 5 2020

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I didn't like Oryx and Crake when I read it a few years back, but I enjoy this! A strong story with a strong message!

Paul Sterlini
Aug 12 2020

Excellent, thought provoking

Janette Ostle
Jun 6 2020

Gruesome! I just finished Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake so this was a good follow on.
It was so well written. I don’t think I’ve read a short story that good for a long time. It will definitely take me a day or two to recover.

Lucy Langdon
Apr 12 2020

Excellent! So dystopian - and topical ;)

Charity Reed
Apr 10 2020