by Tim Pratt
Read by Dave Thompson
I pushed through the overgrown shrubs, barely making out a trail, and reached the fence, where I found the chain-link had been cut apart and then re-closed with fuzzy pipe cleaners, green and red and blue. (Does anyone use pipe cleaners to clean their pipes anymore, or are they produced exclusively as arts and craft supplies for children?) I carefully untwisted them and squeezed through the gap, snagging my sagging belly-flesh on a sharp end of wire and sucking in a hiss of air through my teeth.
Once I was through, I stood up, under a sky that was noticeably bluer and more cloudless than the one on the other side of the fence, and stared at the closest thing on Earth to infinity:
The ocean. Or, at least, an ocean.