black history/futures: allying with earth

it's feb! that means it's black history/futures month. my goal in 2024 is one flash fiction story per week. all stories from this month and past years here.

preface: today’s story is inspired by the episode of how to survive the end of the world with adaku utah.

in some ways, earth was the easiest element to ally with. she held shape, she did not run away. she was the most obvious element that my body was made of, that our bodies are made of.

in some ways, she was the hardest. she was mysterious and complex and varied and everywhere.

i jokingly wished for the ease of working with earth like in the avatar the last airbender TV show. toph could just slide her foot around and stomp and the earth with rise up to meet her (or her opponent). it was never that easy for me.

on day 100, i woke up from my nap, from my attempt to be close to earth, and something had shifted. i picked up my head and noticed there was an earthen pillow the shape of… my head! the earth had come up to meet me. but, like sleep, she wouldn’t be grasped with force.

i continued to sit up and found myself in a small but raised crater. in my dreams and slumber, the earth had responded to me! in my astonishment, i was forgetting to write down the dream that was now evaporating in my awareness… but it was something about protection. and mama earth had made the protection real. my teachers had said this was the way earth moved, but i didn’t really think to believe them…

words / writing / post-processing
182w / 10min / 2min