art by Cheryl Owen-Wilson
Like Son Like Father
by Jedd Cole
I always knew Felix was going to be a genius. In some ways I envy him.
It's been a long time since the wars ended. We need a way out of the smoke clouds and the vomit of mountain mouths and the black water seeping up from the earth with its rainbow sheen. And with only a fraction of humanity left alive, time has grown short. Felix knows that very well, always knew it, and he set to work early.
When he was three, I watched Felix playing with pieces of old garbage. Before the year was out, he had finished a miniature prototype for a refuge, a tower that could reach the stratosphere high above the smells of apocalypse. For his seventh birthday, we went out into the dead woods. Using twine and wood and scrap metal, he built a bridge across the gorge that had broken old Los Angeles during the earthquake of 2424. The merchant nomads still use the bridge. It's been five years since he finished it, and I think he's on to something big.