By Jen Finelli
When I stepped off the metal ramp onto the landing pad, the heat didn't “beat down” on me so much as “suffocate my whole body in a sweaty embrace.” Home. For the first time in...three years? Shyte. Felt longer.
In the distance, past the parking lot fence, pinkish-green vines grew up the fort's translucent wall: the jungle was hugging us all. When I sighed, hot, wet air rushed into my throat like a super tongue-y kiss.
My home planet's clingy welcome felt weird. And not just because I'd served time in the cold, dry underground of Beryllia's crystal mines. There's moss on the landing pad. When Jei and I took off from this pad years ago it was squeaky clean. Uptight butt-face wouldn't have it otherwise.
I opened and closed my fist, and chunks of deep green and rooty brown blasted into the air as the moss flew off the pad. I lifted my hand, gently, like an orchestra conductor, and the moss floated through the air to land in a puddle by the fence.
“Grow there,” I said. “Not here.”