By the End

By Colleen Anderson

By the fifteenth month of the drought
the lake no longer hid her secrets
dried out husks littered the silt
trails leading away
mysteries moving into the treeline

She surveyed the carnage
mother nature’s vicious attack
a search and destroy on her calculated sowing
small organic treasures she had sunk
like naval mines beneath the surface

The drought was not predicted
heat waves enveloped her mission directive
the aquatic spawn chose evolution
preferring adaptation to a foreign climate
over certain sunbaked death

By the sixteenth month only dust remains
her belly hollowed, the soil devoid of promise
her food source now devours the people
the ship outfitted for a new system
she makes her hasty exit

Image Design by Carola Cox

Colleen Anderson

Colleen Anderson’s 200+ works have appeared in such places as nEvermore!Beauty of DeathHeroic Fantasy QuarterlyOnSpecAmazing, and Cemetery Dance. She is a three-time Aurora nominee and has edited three anthologies, including Alice Unbound: Beyond Wonderland. Black Shuck Books, UK published her dark fiction collection A Body of