We cleared the roads leading up the glacial moraine by hand. It only took fourteen years, so we celebrated with brandy. I collected a handful of toasts from those present and tucked them into a small carry bag. We sat quietly while we drank and finished the bottle quickly. Afterwards, we kept hiking towards the observatory. I kicked at small black-toothed rabbits as they came careening towards us. A colleague stumbled across a mushroom three meters wide. I stuffed it into my bag with the toasts. The bag had grown quite heavy so I tied it to a weather balloon and sent it up into the lower atmosphere. Trudging onward I felt gravel underfoot. I sat and began fingering the knotted laces of my boots but noticed the soles had worn away completely. My small pink feet fell out into the road. Small polished stones had collected between my toes and I plucked out the most beautiful. They were immensely heavy despite their small size and radiated some residual heat from a former epoch. These I put into the sledge our ass, called Dionysus, drug behind.
As we reached the observatory gunshots were heard. Long-limbed savages from the valley below were clambering about the frosty grounds in short linen skirts and garish headgear. They pointed their weapons in every direction and made incomprehensible demands. A rather petite horse, the size of a small dog, came trotting up just then. The natives spun around and were overwhelmed by the portentousness of the pony. They laid down their muskets and raised open palms to the cloudy skies overhead. The sun peeked out to cast long fingers of radiation down towards us. We all felt rather tropical standing in the sun like that and opened a bottle of dark spiced rum. A very narrow and highly venomous snake came creeping out of the bottle and coiled itself about my leg. I stamped my feet but she would not disperse. In this way our affair commenced: me writing long inscrutable devotionals and bathing her cold body in heliotrope, she hissing and writhing at my feet.
Shortly thereafter the federation fragmented and dissolved, the observatory shuttered. My lover and I lurched downhill singing show tunes.
Nick LB Mack is a carpenter living in the western United States. His poetry and fiction has been published online and in print. He’s almost almost always writing.