Urban Volcano

Fiction by Börkur Sigurbjörnsson

Flash fiction


Other formats: PDF | íslenska

The sun comes up from behind the mountain and its golden rays glitter on the lake at the bottom of the valley. The birds wake up and start singing as they fly from one branch to another, picking juicy berries for breakfast. The mice run along the timber railing throwing flakes of loose paint into the air as their tiny feet meet the worn-out and rotting timber. The foxes yawn, making their way from the edge of the woods into the fields to capture a bit of the heat from the rising sun.

Dawn — Illustration by Börkur Sigurbjörnsson
Illustration by Börkur Sigurbjörnsson

A black-tailed godwit roots around in the soil until it hits something hard. It pulls the object on to the surface with its beak. A human bone. Possibly a part of a finger. The area is littered with rotting remains of this extinct species.

Nobody knows exactly how the extinction came to be. Yet, theories are abundant. Some say it was some sort of auto-extinction or autoimmunity. Others point to natural disasters, volcanic eruptions, meteors, or even extra terrestrial beings. Nobody knows but everyone thinks they know.

The godwit lets the bone drop to the ground and turns on its concentration. It thinks the bone discovery conscientiously into the universal consciousness, before it flaps its wings and lifts itself into the air.

Börkur is an avid storyteller with a keen eye for quirky characters, funny dialogs and vivid scenario descriptions. Much of his writing falls within the genre of realistic fiction and his stories are more often than not based on real events in the author’s life. Although the tales contain grains of truth, they are melded with fiction, making the reader curious to know the line between reality and fantasy.