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"Micron Revolt," a story by Nicole Walker

The problem with pixels is what is good about pixels. Oh the honing in. Hone a knife. Hone an eye. Zoom in. Everything has a pixel. Everything is a dot next to another dot. Everything broken down into its constituent parts. The dots constitute a kind of community—a village of colors, if you flatten us all. The pointillist wanted this to be true. That a smart consistency is no hobgoblin. That a reasonable consistency can reveal the nature of the universe. Dot upon dot. Electron upon electron. Neutrino upon neutrino. Muon upon muon. But what interest is a dot? A dot is most interesting when it’s a hole. When it tunnels into a secret as dramatic as antimatter or emotional as black holes. We like it best when the secret is that this organism, spinning over here in this pot of water, stews up a mess of toxic slime but when you put that same tiny organism in a mound of reeking hummus, the organism flips that reek turns the muck into the smell of sunshine, burrowing through.

Once upon a time there was a girl who walked. She walked before there were cars and after there were cars, before there were trains and after there were planes. She walked alongside runners and bicyclists and wagon-pulling oxen. She walked down into valleys and around the edges of rivers. She carried her rifle wherever she went, across the western mountains and the eastern seaboard, across great oceans, walking like they once did, naturally, upon water. She walked to China and back again. To Istanbul and Constantinople. She walked and she walked and she counted her steps—little pixels, tiny dots. When she had stepped on every micron of ground, finally she was able to use her weapon. Finally, she was able to rebel against the flatness of the land. She shot a hole in the earth. She made a path and inside, there, she was able to turn that world around.