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Firefly Smoke

by David C. Kopaska-Merkel

Month of No Rain 5.

Dear Alissa. Bailey found a whole bunch of pixie spheres. He smashed every one just to hear them pop and smell the firefly smoke. He said there were millions of them, and the adults wouldn't miss a few. But he was wrong. Grandpa said all the statues in Memorial Park were arguing again so everyone knew someone had broken some pixie balls. That's what he calls them. Mom says we can't call them that.

MoNR 7.

Dear Alissa. Sorry I didn't access you yesterday. I woke up early because of the noise. Grown-ups and Devices were at the impact layer. I think they were digging out the pixie spheres. They had a preservation unit and a cryo transport. Those Devices never come out here unless it's very very important. Bailey says the government uses the pixie spheres to experiment on dissidents. So that was yesterday, and this morning some kind of AI came and talked to Mom about Bailey. I thought they were going to take him away. I'm glad they didn't. Even though he is mean.

MoNR 8.

Dear Alissa. Even though you are only a chip I have to tell somebody what happened. You are the only one. Last night Mom and Dad sent Bailey to his room and he didn't get any supper. But then, really late he came to my room and he woke me up. He said he was going out to the impact layer site. I told him not to go, but he made me promise I wouldn't tell. Then he went out my window. I guess I fell back to sleep, because I woke up again when I heard Bailey screaming. I wasn't afraid. I jumped out the window and ran towards the impact site. I was already there when I realized it was raining. I almost ran back home. I should have. I stopped at the edge of the trees and I could see Bailey. I guess the expedition yesterday broke some of the balls and dust was on the ground. The whole site was burning with that weird fire that isn't hot. Bailey was bigger, and hunched over. His new shape kept disappearing and coming back, more changed. I ran when I saw the claws. I heard a siren; some big Device was on its way. I hope Bailey didn't get caught.

The end

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