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The Pragmatist of Colony 24

by Juleigh Howard-Hobson ​ No, I’m not ready to evacuate. Not yet, anyway. I find that I need to grab one last thing, then another. Great disasters strike with terrifying speed-- which is not what’s happening here. I hate the false urgency, the anxious fervor to ‘escape’. We will file to the shuttle, wait our turn, get in, leave for wherever it is they are sending us to now. Earth perhaps? Probably not, we aren’t worth that much fuel or interstellar trouble. But it will be somewhere with oxygen and carbon and water. Somewhere like this but not so badly thrown together. When this place was optimized, the main point was to get us away from where we were then. It’s not the planet’s fault that it hasn’t been able to sustain the terrains that were built on it because its crust wasn’t settled. We never suspected that of course. Until the mountains shifted enough to wobble. I hope we go somewhere flat.

Juleigh Howard-Hobson lives besides the edge of the world, where secrets are whispered in the winds and words fling from the sky. Her writing has been nominated for The Best of the Net, the Pushcart, the Elgin, and the Rhysling Awards. Her work can be found in Dreams & Nightmares, Eye to the Telescope, Polu Texni, Star*Line, Haunted Dollhouse, 34 Orchard, Audient Void, Midnight Echo, Siren’s Call, Noir Nation, Shadow of Pendle (Dark Sheep Books), They Walk Among Us (Utah Horror Writer’s Association) and many other venues. Her latest collection is Curses, Black Spells and Hexes (Alien Buddha Press).

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