You’re free to leave at any time, the woman at the meeting had told them. And now as Art sat on his back step watching the unusually orange sunset slice the world in two, the words reverberated in his head. You’re free to leave at any time.
One thing Art had over his neighbors was a clear view of the horizon cut by trees that bumped the line of mountains far beyond. No houses with their angled roofs like the new ones where they pushed the road through yielding pines for the development. The cul-de-sac was right behind his house. Humanity on the move had ended there, forced by the rocky ledges it would have cost too much to dynamite their way through.
Above the horizon the sky was aqua blue and filled with streaks of hot pink clouds. Below, the trees were almost black. Art thought again and said the words out loud, You’re free to leave at any time, and decided that maybe that’s what he would do.