By Emily Robinson
"you make me melt" by Silvana Smith
In a land where the ground is woven from wrought iron wire, a gargantuan tarantula protects the town’s prison from its inhabitants: the plastic people.
The plastic people used to breathe in carbon dioxide, like the trees did, too. But then the plastic people died. No one feared that this would happen, because no one thought it could. They were abiotic creatures, after all. It’s funny what some space can do. Abiotic creatures can become biotic ones. Nevertheless, the abiotic people died when the biotic, oxygen-breathing peoples’ minds died, too. When they turned into Zombies, who craved nothing but flesh and brains, people and power. When their cravings went from becoming and became consuming. The plastic people were alive dolls, feeding on aspirations and impossibilities - the hope that made miracles. They were dead now, though. And their plastic bodies were too perfect to rot and become mulch for the trees. Plus there were no trees here, there was no dirt. There was no life, except for the tarantula. And the Tarantula had turned from black to grey, from imposing to a mere image of its past existence. It was fading from the world - and not because it was getting old and dying. No, the tarantula was disappearing. Because no one was there to remember its shadow, and its meaning. No one was afraid of its power. No one craved its power. No one was caught in its web, except for the now-dead plastic people.
The tarantula had been guarding the prison, which was just the world’s mind. The issue no one had predicted was, when a mind is in a prison, it often wants to die until it does, and then it’s just dead. But once it’s dead, everything around it remains. Even its own body. So now the prison held nothing captive, except for the world that was made to guard it. And there was nobody left to do anything about it, because the world had been so bad that everyone alive died, and everything dead stopped mattering. It’s pretty sad, I think. But I’m only thinking that, thinking of any of this, to keep the tarantula on life support. It says it’s not ready to die just yet, it wants us to help it keep breathing, keep living. It hasn’t said goodbye to this world yet. That’s why we keep hoping, fearing, and remembering.
Emily Robinson is a writer based in Los Angeles, CA.