Burning Heart

From here, the colossal city’s faint outline could be seen stretching across the horizon. The warm, pink tones of the low sun covered the barren landscape: The sand and sky become one color, one suffocating monolithic atmosphere broken by that city too large to behold. It itself took on the hue, but the city’s huge shape interrupted the otherwise endless array of stretching dessert. The buildings glinted softly in the air. It was said they were made of glass and steel, and that one could see his face reflected as if looking down a deep well. The professor had demonstrated, with myriad proofs and measurements the boy could never understand, that the city was so far away that it dipped below the horizon, that the curvature of the planet actually came up between here and there. The boy didn’t understand, and the professor mumbled about the state of education in the world. As the light faded, the boy could see the thickening clouds against the city skyline, the sure sign of a gathering storm. From atop the professor’s observatory, the boy looked after the city, his heart burning to go beyond the horizon.

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