by Leena Likitalo
read by Will Tulin
First appeared in Writers of the Future Volume 30.
It was the last caravan of the giant season.
Though the United Company had already started to build the railroad toward the End of the World, the path of iron and wood reached only as far as Halvington. Unlike the other drivers, I realized that the era of salt wagons was coming to an end. Perhaps Elai had expected the railroad to be ready to take her to find answers to all her existential questions. With pale hair and gray eyes, she looked about eighteen, definitely not a day older. She wore a full-length leather coat, buttoned all the way up to her chin, and boots that looked too new to be yet comfortable. Even so, when she glided down Halvington’s main street, the scrawny miners and shaggy railroad workers alike rushed to tip their hats, and some even bowed.
She noticed none of that.
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Rated PG-13. CW: themes of suicide
Leena Likitalo is a writer from Finland, the land of thousands of lakes and at least as many untold tales. She’s a Writers of the Future 2014 winner and a Clarion San Diego graduate. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Daily Science Fiction, and Galaxy’s Edge. She dreams of being a published novelist one day.
Will Tulin is an actor, voice artist, writer, and speculative fiction fanatic. He recently completed work on the animated feature, “Eden,” and had an appearance in “The Grift,” for La Jolla playhouse. Will currently splits his time between Los Angeles and the Biggest Little City in the World.