I will never reach the end – the heat will sear me like meat on a spit. I imagine my hair crackling and frizzing, my skin crisping.
We are all but flesh.
I pause, blinking against the searing sweat flooding my eyes. The sting takes me back to a buried schoolgirl memory; a cross-country run in freezing January, the finale a lung-bursting incline to the crematorium. The irony is not lost on me.
I would kill for that biting wind, for breath torn from my chest in frozen gasps, for skin encased with gooseflesh. Now all we have is a furious orange sun, farther away from our planet than ever, yet burning us alive latitude by latitude.
Winter is a myth.
I wipe my eyes against a sweat-soaked shirtsleeve and resume my climb.