This is a short story I just wrote up for a flash fiction contest for the Short Story and Fiction Society (SSFFS). The prompt was the following picture:

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books


Patience is a Virtue

I’m patient, as befits all immortal beings. Urgency is such an undignified concept. I open my embrace to let my children be carried by the wind. One tiny grain, then another and another. Always moving, always flowing like the stars whence I came. The meteor that brought me to this once blue piece of glass in the skies became my womb.

Like all babies, I was born hungry. And thirsty. Everything I touched, I converted to more of my children. I drank the seas, then the rivers and the lakes, then the sap from the trees and the blood from the screeching ones’ veins.

They fought me, of course. I didn’t mind. They planted trees, impregnated clouds, built dams, desalinated water. They even brought water from space, to crash on the planet’s surface. I drank that up, too. Patiently, inexorably. My patience was rewarded when they ran away, gave up their homes, their land and their lives to me. Many a corpse I have taken into my tender embrace, kept forever safe, transformed into golden grains of sand.

I arrive at a town. Its builders have abandoned it, given up hope of resisting my advance. The wind blows again, gently this time. Only my lightest children will be taken up on its wings, but I don’t care. Sooner or later, stronger winds will come and lift my bigger seeds. I will enter this town, too; fill up its cellars; devour its cattle and its children, both dead and alive. Everyone and everything is welcomed into my warm, dry embrace.

My hunger knows no limits, nor does my patience. Soon, this world, too, will be mine. Will my hunger be satisfied? Perhaps. But if not, there will always be a friendly meteor to carry my seeds to the next world. I’ll just wait for as long as it takes. After all, patience is a virtue.

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