A short piece about the place where we really live–transformed far, far away. A sketch for a short story perhaps.
We knew it when we saw it, the place for our dream house. We climbed the rocky slope, over and between the boulders left by the upthrust of tectonic events millennia ago. So much like the land we had left behind in the American Southwest, even to the thorny plants that could pierce heavy denim. New Mexico had been arid for so many generations, then the unending drought that came with global warming emptied the wells and killed all but the hardiest cacti. When the opportunity came, we joined the exodus to a new planet. The promotional videos showed a verdant world. Rivers, lakes of a peculiar purple and trees in hues we’d never seen on Earth. There might have been such places on Eleuthra, but not in the area open for settlement when we arrived. But it looked so much like the home we’d left behind, we weren’t disappointed–too much.
Away from the few other settlers who dared the village outskirts, we sat on folding chairs we’d carried high atop the hill. First here, then there, we moved the chairs until the best view of the valley emerged. Semiarid like New Mexico, yet small streams flowed in a few places, sheltered by dull orange-colored trees. Mountains rose in the distance, with snow covered peaks rising several thousand feet above us. Yes, we could live here. We could write, we could paint, we could quilt. So much beauty, even amidst the danger. The deadly predators the Authority had failed to warn us of. Our future neighbors showed us the pictures and the defenses they’d erected. Still, if they could survive so could we. Not without some hardship. Not without some close calls we didn’t expect.