Air: A Grievance

This entry is part 7 of 22 in the series Alternate Histories


Air wasn’t always as light as it is nowadays. When I was a kid, standing upright took real effort, & walking, we felt like Moses parting the Red Sea. The air was a physical presence & our lungs were made of sturdy leather. We had to work for every breath — not like you kids today who can buy cheap bottled air at any gas station. Bones were so dense & muscles so hard from the constant struggle, it was impossible to kill anyone unless you used a lead bullet or sharpened a blade for hours. The sky reached all the way to the ground if there weren’t any trees or buildings nearby to prop it up. We took all our holidays by the shore & dove into the water to escape the sky’s tyranny, savoring as long as we could the illusion of lightness.

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