Around the corner it stood. Seven feet tall. Many hued chitin. Swollen abdomen. Wings slowly unfolding.
Every time they looked at the back of the cards there was a different scene. A fish on a bicycle. A honeycomb full of hair. A severed finger in a flower bed. A drunken hummingbird darting around a human ear.
The new city was built inside the crater. They protected it by placing spiritual challenges at the periphery. The final obstacle was an impossible act of self-reflection demanded by nattering hairdressers.
When the Sticks sent commands it sounded like a pile of rustling leaves or soil being turned over.
The distributed feed was glitchy even though a troop of stream specialists cajoled code, poking and prodding the minutiae.
The cathedral opened for business the following sunday. People lined up holding their chickens, wearing hair shirts, and chanting “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince.
On the right side of the cover was a drawing of a bird, the beak painted in gold. On the left side was a well, a child’s hand visible just above the edge.
Bins of apples were traded for horse tails. Festival masks were assigned. Villagers chased and nipped at children. Dogs lit their pipes thoughtfully.
Underneath the house a new colony grew rapidly and organized itself into approximations of Mom and Pop.
The cost of a new Reel was determined at auction. Bidders stood behind partitions showing only their teeth.
In the Second Era, citizens were required to wear the feathers of penitents until they passed the examinations of the True Doctrine.
From under the stomach came a flood of beetles, each a different, unimaginable color. Trumpets heralded the eviction.
Several packages were delivered to HQ, each a fragrant act of protest.
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A small mountain cabin stuffed full of wet leaves. A failed experiment for eternal autumn.