The Color of Distance

‘Ani’s ears lifted, this time in surprise. Deep work was dangerous. She remembered the first time she had attempted it. She had become so attuned to the bird she was working on that her heart began to lose its rhythm and her metabolism fluctuated wildly. Despite Ilto’s careful monitoring and rapid intervention, she’d been in a coma for a full day. It had taken six days for her body to return to normal. Now Kirito and Ilto were going to attempt deep work on a creature whose cells were unrecognizably bizarre. It was dangerous, even for them, the two most senior elders in the village. An orange thread of fear flowed slowly down Ani’s back.

‘“Are you sure you want to do this, Kirito?” Ilto asked her.

‘“I’m ready,” she said. Her skin was a calm, resolved chartreuse. “Kiha can fill my place if I die.”’

— Amy Thomson, The Color of Distance


literature amy-thomson