The Sky Will Bloom
Garrett Biggs

And I will sneeze fire. I will leave my nose charred and smeared with ash. The cool kids with their denim jackets and their platinum cards will mistake me for a leper and cast me off to my own private island.

And I will be safe there. I will be quarantined. I will have unlimited piña coladas, and no one will call me a danger.

Or everyone will sneeze fire. Our soldiers will burn weapons the same way they burn nostril hairs. They will replace flamethrowers with feathers. We will lightly prickle our noses and watch the entire world cower in fear.

And this will cause a shortage of birds: Hawks will be plucked from the sky and deemed weapons of mass destruction. Scientists will lure them into factories and strip them clean. Yet when they catapult back into the air, with naked skin glistening, they will fly higher than ever before. They will float light and buoyant in the deep blue void.

They will adjust. It’s what creatures do. They will hoard kerosene. They will pluck and store their own feathers. They will wait until we are not looking.

The geometry of their flight will become sharper, piercing, more intentional. They will fly in loops so grand, it will resemble petals in the sky. The clouds will look like roses.

And in our most vulnerable state, they will let golden feathers and drips of kerosene rain from above. We will sneeze uncontrollably. They will laugh from the heavens and the earth will glow crimson.

Garrett Biggs lives in Denver, Colorado where he is an undergraduate at the University of Denver. His work has most recently appeared in The Molotov Cocktail.