The planet hasn’t been this warm for millions of years. Jungle is the new skin. A spinous beast of flesh-and-stone comes along and gnaws on the dying cities, swallows all it can manage. It gambols along the blossoming curve of earth, grows sluggish as it excretes human remains, coughs up barbed-wire balls of cars and concrete, guns and cell phones, inedible art, the books of false prophets. Now it snaps and bays at the blinding sun, its belly bloated with the lingering, ineffectual screams of monochrome souls. Its gut swells, heaves, rumbles like an angry volcano. And before curling down for another million-year nap it drops its forest-covered jaw and lets out a putrid, roaring belch—expelling the failed god of a thing called Man.
First published in Space and Time Magazine #117 (Fall 2012).
Listen to an audio version here.