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It Was a Sword Made of Light by Sheldon Lee Compton



Not the kind you’re used to. The light of this one grounded the ground. Not the earth – the ground. Stabbed into this ground so that the very mantle of the planet became like liquid or a darkened slurry, and went solid again in protest, now shining like polished silver, unmistakable. This would have happened 49,000 years ago following a great crash that was light years in the making. The meteor struck in Arizona along the Colorado Plateau and moved 175 million tons of earth to get to the bottom of a hole it created that is today 570 feet deep. But hearing the numbers about massive chunks of ice and rock smacking into the planet is not what holds your attention. What you want to know is how did this sword made of light just stop. How is it that this mantle-changing mega debris didn’t keep tearing right through everything. You refuse to listen to the science, the geological truth, the cosmology of the thing. You are entirely convinced that it might have just tore through all of it and that this world we know as reality is a life lived in a flashbang everlasting. It’s not the kind of idea you’re used to, but it’s the one that fits.


Sheldon Lee Compton is a writer from Kentucky and the author of eight books of fiction and poetry. His first nonfiction book, The Orchard Is Full of Sound, about his connection with author Breece D'J Pancake, will be published by West Virginia University Press in 2022. Cowboy Jamboree Press will publish his Collected Stories in the fall of 2021.

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