by Cavan Terrill
The hum is steady, insistent. It trickles down Eva's neck, her back, her legs. It has blotted out whatever signs of life were once present here.
She looks up at the power lines, majestic against the darkened sky. They are the landscape here, the sole structures on the flat, gray desert floor.
There are variations in the hum now. A pulse. A heartbeat. Eva stands next to one of the poles. She traces the arc of the lines, as they lazily descend, then pull themselves up to meet the next pole. She loses track, eventually, as the wires fade into the distance.
She places her hand against the smooth, warm steel of the pole. Feels the hum enter her, coming in surges. Like blood. She savors the moment.
Overhead, the clouds shift malevolently.
She feels it, inside her. Feels it exploring, searching. It stops moving suddenly, as it always does, and unfurls its tendrils, spreading across the void of her body. It is alive in her now, just like it was in the City.
It speaks to her.
And then, she knows. She knows that she will not see the City again, with its sleek metal columns and the wonderful, overwhelming pulse of electricity. The car that dropped her off here will not return. She does not belong there. She never has.
She will starve here. Her flesh will return to the land. The City has sacrificed her to the Earth.
The clouds, hungry, begin to spit acidic rain.