A new short story, with a gorgeous illustration by Rebecca Cottrell! Up now at Short Fiction, a stunning online visual literary journal. ‘boundless‘ started as a reflection on the unsettling absence of cinema in future-oriented science fiction, and more practically on what post-peak oil sustainable cinema might look like (if anything at all). It’s also written in solidarity with cinema workers, especially those who struck and/or struggled during the lockdowns (and before), and to catch at something of the experience of film festivals and what they can/could be…
Generator: that’s what the festival was called, and that was the first we heard of it, a biofuel conversion grinding to life. Popcorn smell getting stronger.
Lights, people, action.
They came to find the red curtains and they found us, hungry and alert. Words we hadn’t heard for years flew around the room: ‘event’, ‘development’, ‘air conditioning’. We looked at the rats, the rats looked at us. They scurried, we shrugged. Mutual understanding. Eat what you can, hide when you can’t.
Facemasks raised, we beat the dust from the velveteen seats until it floated up into the late evening almost-cool, a smell-memory of skin cells. We saw it glitter in the bioluminescent lamplight that the generator made.