I’m Joanna Appleseed, reseeding native gardens from above.
Just a cloud chasing wind, transparent kites to gather the sun, furl them in before the storm. Light as a gull, composites and silk, shift and rise through the layers. The troposphere’s a 3D puzzle, navigation by wind on my cheek.
Neutral buoyancy and clean electrons power my days.
I glide near the earth, spotting elk and spraying buckets of seed, taking photos and leaving water footprints in the sky.
The rewilding of Indiana is a thing to see.
Tangled forests and bison herds, thick living coats that hug the land.
Ten million acres back to the wilds before we’re done.
Days off, I float.
Or skim cities, dodging solar spires that rise from urban greens so dense, the streets have become myth. My electric carrier pigeons buzz down precious featherweight cargo: vaccines and yarn, spices and seed packets to share. By night, I talk to satellites and listen to stars, tales of travellers past read by moonlight and the Milky Way.
Trade-wind riders, scientists, seedcroppers like me, we sing sky shanties across the air waves, of wind we didn’t catch and girls we didn’t kiss.
Watch the downdraft! Shear winds ahoy!
We chatter and stormwatch, weaving stories and invisible safety nets in the sky.
When all is done, grapple ports bring me in safe.
I land long enough to kiss the earth and my love, an earth-bound night of delight. Then I’m on the wind once more.
Copyright © 2023 Susan Kaye Quinn
Susan Kaye Quinn is an environmental engineer/rocket scientist turned speculative fiction author who now uses her PhD to invent cool stuff in books. Her works range from hopepunk climate fiction to futuristic spec fic, cyberpunk, and steampunk romance. Sue believes being gentle and healing is radical and disruptive. Her short fiction can be found in DreamForge and Grist’s Imagine 2200 contest, and her cli-fi novel series (and all her works) can be found on her website: www.susankayequinn.com.