4 Stories - Saudade do Brasilia, 1960

Saudade do Brasilia, 1960

Imagine, if you will, Oscar Niemeyer as he watches Brasilia being built before his eyes, a shining, modernist wonderland in the very belly of the Amazon.

Already in his mind, he is envisioning what this fine city will look like in the future – when grass grows over its sidewalks, when its towers are engulfed in ivy, when its buildings are robed in green, when its grand edifices are seen crumbling in the light of the evening sun, when its streets are all in emerald clad.

Would he then have a home upon the earth?

4 Stories - Sequoia


Wandering around an outdoor museum, a boy came upon a large slab of wood: the cross-section of an ancient sequoia tree laid upon its side. Upon the rings of the tree, little placards had been placed to note the time of certain historical events. The boy ran his fingers on the polished surface of the wood, tracing his fingers upon the bark corresponding to his parents’ birthyears, back further to the founding of his country, and further back still, the present receding in his mind as he fell backwards into time, past forgotten Mayan kings, Chinese dynasties, lines of European royalty, past land wars and provincial fiefdoms. As his fingers ran back, he could feel bumps where some placards had been removed for unknown reasons. Under his breath he whispered aloud, “Where did everything come from?”

4 Stories - Southern California Sunlight

Southern California Sunlight

Mary and Arturro sat there in the quiet shade of the eucalyptus trees, the Southern California sun coloring the scene in hues of hazy gold. Their dark skin glowed in the late afternoon light.

“I love you,” Mary said quietly.

Arturro smiled the lazy smile of the content, slightly shifting the weight of his backpack upon his shoulder. “I love you, too,” he whispered.

Thirty feet below, the bones of the bodies of long-dead kings lay sleeping in the earth, awaiting the end of all things.

4 Stories - Ziggurat


Sometime in the near future, a group of geologists make a shocking and puzzling discovery – one of the largest mountains in North America is, in fact, not a mountain at all, but a huge megalithic pyramid built with the appearance of a national geologic formation, artificially encrusted with a surface of earth and trees in patterns of non-repeating fractal algorithms and Mandelbrot geometries.

This brings many scholars to question: how many other mountains the world over are actually vast and ancient megalithic structures wrought to look like mountains? In the ensuing years, scientists and archeologists try to find a way into the mountain-pyramid, yet all their efforts are to no avail. The stone is made of a substance too thick and resilient to be broken asunder by any of the technologies modern man has at his disposal. Modernity stands rebuked. And the whole world wonders: what is inside the mountain?


Pip Craighead is a writer and illustrator. Raised in the shadow of the vast San Gabriel mountains, he now lives by an extinct, forested volcano. For more work, visit pipcraighead.com.

Monday, June 5th 2017