Past the fork in the highways, he sees the crack in the earth where the energy comes from. It splits into the vein of coal—condensed, organic, inflammable. Pressure drills rattle the surface. Topsoil crumbles. The hill falls in upon itself.
Leo’s twenty-seven years amount to less than a single blink on a digital clock when compared to the aeons over which dead bodies have been compressing into coal and oil, energy unleashed in the last century by the burning of every milligram of fossil fuels ever dug or sucked from the earth.