Rated PG: Contains Butterflies and Hurricanes. Happy Birthday, Ray!
by Genevieve Valentine
Martin Spatz, the actor, had gone Vagabonding in 8,000 BC and killed a wild dog that was about to attack him. (It was a blatant violation of the rules–you had to be prepared to die in the past, that was the first thing you signed on the contract. He went to jail over it. They trimmed two years off because he used a stick, and not the pistol he’d brought with him.)
No one could find a direct connection between the dog and the mice, but people speculated. People were still speculating, even though the mice were long dead.
Everything went, sooner or later; the small animals tended to last longer than the large ones, but eventually all that was left were some particularly hardy plants, and the butterflies. By the next year the butterflies were swarming enough to block out the summer sun, and Disease Control began to intervene.
About the Author
Genevieve Valentine is a novelist (her most recent is near-future political thriller ICON) and comic book writer, including Catwoman for DC Comics. Her short fiction has appeared in over a dozen Year’s Best collections; her nonfiction has appeared at the AV Club, NPR.org, The Atlantic, and the New York Times.
About the Narrator
Tina Connolly is the author of the Ironskin and Seriously Wicked series, and the collection On the Eyeball Floor. She has been a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, Norton, and World Fantasy awards. She co-hosts Escape Pod, narrates for Beneath Ceaseless Skies and all four Escape Artists podcasts, and runs the Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake. Find Tina at tinaconnolly.com.