Every night the claypot carries Sohni to her lover across the river. Until one day the river seeps in, and Sohni drowns, attacked by crocodiles. The moral? Do not trust in guides of defective substance.
So as the river of toxic fumes permeates my ancient metal body, I’m glad I’ve never trusted in it. My only loves are the old Earth stories haunting my database. I strain to reach the end, head spinning, performing the tales with my last bits of strength to an auditorium full of corpses and blaring alarms.
I wonder if they knew what the moral was.
Fatima Taqvi is a Pakistani storyteller who enjoys speculative fiction. She has words in Strange Horizons, Flash Fiction Online, and Tasavvur magazine, and has been shortlisted for the Future Worlds Prize. Fatima also hosts a podcast “Saying the Unsayable”. She can be found on Twitter @FatimaTaqvi and at her website fatimataqvi.com.
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