A Place of Snow Angels
by Matt Wallace
Joshua was seven when he saw the white city.
It was his first deep trek across the Mojave tundra with Dedimus, hours spent listening to the snowreaver’s hover jets pulverize powder and ice, his tiny nostrils filled with the tonic ozone smell of its ionized plasma engines and he could barely move in the half-dozen layers of insulation Mida added to his parka., and somewhere under all of that Dedimus preaching, always preaching, about Joshua’s bond to the ever-growing winter, his future, his responsibility. By the time they reached the Santa Monica coastline, Joshua’s ears were ringing and he was hungry, and despite the arctic chill he found he was sweating.
They stood on the shore and looked west. At first there was just the ocean, slow moving and rough-hewn gray, like unfinished sheets of steel. The frost shifted in heavy curtains above them. Then morning broke and the tide changed. Twenty miles off the coast, the white city blazed as pure and broad as the horizon itself. There were walls rising higher than any structure Joshua had ever seen. There were parapets. There were stalactite spires that stabbed the frosty fog billows.
Joshua never saw anything like it, not in pictures or among the small holographic images Mida used to teach him.
“Who lives there?” he’d asked Dedimus.
“No one,” the old man told Joshua. “That is the fata morgana, an illusion created by the cold. Like any worthy opponent, winter tricks your eyes, draws you into falsehoods.”
About the Author
MATT WALLACE is the author of THE FAILED CITIES MONOLOGUES and previously authored the very popular episode “Sundae” for Podcastle, as well as having appeared on Pseudopod 3 times (Episode 11 – “Killing Jars”, Episode 47 – “Akropolis” & Episode 87 – “A Place Of Snow Angels”) and recently on Escape Pod with “Knowing”. His website, Matt Wallace.com, is at the link and his blog is Matt Wallace
About the Narrator
Elie Hirschman is a self-described “former aspiring voice actor” who has worked with Darker Projects and Dream Realm Productions and is also involved in Cool Fool Productions, turning bad audio scripts into intentionally bad comedy gold. He’s currently still active in all EA podcasts (including Cast of Wonders) and also appearing semi-regularly in the Nosleep Podcast. He doodles constantly but doesn’t draw enough and moved from the Western Hemisphere to the Eastern Hemisphere against his will and better judgment (but has never been in the Southern Hemisphere).
Elie was born in New York City and raised just outside of it. He started down the voiceover path in 2004, with formal voiceover and marketing training by Creative Voice Development Group. His professional voice work ranges from children’s educational material to real estate advice website audio, with a scientific article and a guided tour of a Polish salt mine thrown in for good measure. In his free time, Elie enjoys cartooning, listening to old-time radio drama, and referring to himself in the third person. By this time next year, he will also have mastered speaking in future perfect tense.