1. The cat is terrifyingly silent as it prowls forward, its clockwork driven by soul gems instead of steam.
2. When we finally leave Earth the why is nothing like old stories expected. There’s no frantic rush to escape or crushing push of population driving us. MegaCorporations aren’t sending us to mine the stars– they don’t need humans for that. No, it’s just a handful of people who can’t bear the idea of seeing the universe secondhand.
3. Perpetual waterspouts dance across the lake, whipped to a frenzy by the hot summer winds.
4. Four kinds of apple trees grow in the abandoned lot over by the old gas station. Someone planted them there, who knows how long ago, and they’ve stubbornly refused to die.
5. “Magic will never love you back,” he warned as she ran her fingers down the crack in the stone. “You can pretend if you like, but it’s just a thing, like water or fire. Luck saved you, the magic had nothing to do with it.”