• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 11
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The Collection

There’s a ghost of himself wandering the earth. Occasionally he sees it out the corner of his eye. A grey image, wizened and haunted. It reminds him that time is short and that no one will save him, but he can try to save them.

His collecting jar is full so he returns to the broken-down house and fights the climbing ivy to get through the door. Inside he wanders to the butterfly room where he releases his latest finds, watching them hover before heading into the lush bushes that cover the windows.

In the garden he inspects the hive and through the translucent wings of the bees he sees what is to come – the destruction of his world. In a short space of time the forests will disappear, wetlands will dry up, flesh will boil in the heat, and whole islands will be swallowed in the sea. Where will those remaining live?

He will need a larger house, more rooms, more land. This is a bigger task than he ever imagined. He mulls it over with the bees, his soft voice encouraging them to dance around him.

In the kitchen he realises that the garden is gradually encroaching into the house. He finds odd creatures meandering through the hall. Most were invited, but now others come as if they know they will find a safe haven here. He sighs as he thinks about the people hanging on to scrubs of land by their fingertips. He never thought he’d be a collector of people, but as he thinks of the ghost of himself wandering this diseased earth, he knows he must.