Aurora My Witness
I awoke to chanting. I opened my eyes and sat up. A few snoring pilgrims slept on around me, but most blankets were abandoned.
The predawn light was grey and meagre, the plaza beneath the temple in which I had slept suffused with an unsettling, inconstant green cast from the slowly boiling aurora overhead. Dozens of people knelt in neat rows along the plaza, all pointed in same vaguely south-westerly direction, and sang.
I pulled on my longcoat and went down the steps to the ground level where a toothless crone with a wide smile handed me a steaming bowl of broth. I accepted it gratefully, sipping at it as I walked. I met Utopia, who had her own bowl of broth. She crinkled her nose at the contents. "You like fish?"
"Not me. Except octopus. Have you ever had octopus?"
"I don't know what an octopus is."
"People say you shouldn't eat them, because they're clever," Utopia said thoughtfully, stirring her finger absently in her bowl. "But of course I expect to be eaten when I die. It's only proper. And sometimes some people say I'm clever."
It's finally happened: the free version of this science-fiction novel has been taken offline in order to make room for the hard-cover printed edition from Ephemera Bound Publishing, on sale in stores and online beginning Valentine's Day, 2008.
I regret any disappointment. I kept the free version available as long as I could. Pleasure be sure to check out the new edition! See Cheeseburger Brown.com for more information and updates.
P.S. You can read more of my free fiction via my weblog or in the complete story achives.