Those Who Remembered
by Lush Horizon
Issue 10: Afrofuturism | 5,477 words
color brush texture, ©jiwhan/Adobe Stock
Dear Mama Truth,
They say our small southern town will be completely flooded in the next three months. Our people have known and have been preparing. In fact, when the water first began rising, we convinced our community to trade in their sturdy earth-bound homes for more precarious boats, build extended piers where our roads once stood, and move all our food to higher ground.
Though some were more reluctant than others, I was surprised by how many of our neighbors were willing to do what needed to be done. We advised everyone that it was a temporary solution, that eventually the water would consume our elevated piers and buoyant living spaces and we would all need to leave. As the sea levels continued to rise, however, our neighbors became more nervous and less willing to adapt. More nihilistic and less able to consider new possibilities.
And now, about a year later, folks have fallen into despair, convinced nothing they do will be enough. Fundamentalist prayer groups have formed and are quickly expanding. People are disappearing only to be found floating along the waves the next morning. The air is heavy with sadness, sorrow, and apathy.
I get it, I guess. They’re no longer armed with the knowledge and skills the foremothers had passed down. They’ve forgotten. Now they’re feeling panicked and powerless, spending each night preparing for their death when they should be building their ass an ark.
Sometime last week, I saw the end of a news special that warned the world of its impending doom. A time-lapse video flashed on the wooden wall, chronicling how much land had been swallowed up by the ocean in the last decade. This was followed by pictures of a city’s landmarks two years prior: a high school auditorium, an old church with stained glass windows, an immaculate two-story home where the mayor used to live. Then, the camera followed a reporter in a boat, paddling through the water that had taken over each location. The program switched to a scene of a mother and her child, standing in the water of their flooded home, looking far away. Finally, the reporter in close up, now standing on a hill far above sea level, said something like, “All we can do now is hope, pray, and wait for the end.”
Can you believe that shit? It’s so infuriating. Out here reinforcing what folks have already been feeling: helpless and hopeless. I mean, yeah, there’s no turning back. But there is a way forward, one that requires us to give up what we have and start over again. We just have to be brave enough to move toward that horizon.
Most of our neighbors are terrified, but all of this is so beautiful to me. Poetic, even. Destruction is also renewal. We could use a new beginning.
The waters began rising two years after your death. Did you know this would happen, Mama? Did you alone know what would come of our world? Was it too heavy of a burden to bear? I wish you would have told someone. I wish you would have told me.
This isn’t the first time we’ve had to confront a global flood. Thousands of years ago the same shit went down. That story’s been passed on generation after generation in my family. My mamas’ mamas’ mamas (I’m not writing these all out, just know it’s a lot of mamas back) encouraged people to join them in their arks, but most of their neighbors refused. Nevertheless, my ancestors (who are also your ancestors), the foremothers, started building protective vessels to weather the storm. Those who joined them survived.
Our people lasted over a month in the arks only to have their story co-opted, exploited, and manipulated by religious fanatics. Typical. Talking ‘bout how some blessed and highly favored white dude stocked up an ark with his family and every type of animal, two-by-two. Nah, not even. Our foremothers built multiple arks, a motley crew of diviners who talked to plants and stars and water and rock and humans all the same. All regarded as mamas because they gave birth to life, to each other, and to themselves. They survived and built a new world.
Now the world they built is dying. Or being transformed, I guess. And here I am, urgently, lovingly, trying to make sure our past finds its way into the future.
Dear Mama Truth,
Ironically, y’all entrusted me with the name Serenity. As you know, my name represents my earthly charge, what I’ve been called to bring to and share with the world. It took y’all almost a year after I was born to decide on my name. Our family’s rituals and consensus process are lengthy and involved as hell.
As you know, my ass is anything but serene. Honestly, I’m a frenetic mess. Easily aggravated, irritable, impatient, quick to cry. But Mama Comfort always reminds me that our names don’t necessarily reflect who we are, but what we can offer. She never fails to radiate warmth and make others feel at ease. She holds me in my darkest moments, reminding me that there is love and hope in the world. Her name seems to make sense. Mine? Not so much.
One afternoon, a decade before the first signs of the new flood arrived, I sat crying at the base of an old oak tree. You strolled my way, always elegant in your gait, and found a seat next to me. You waited quietly for me to speak.
“I hate my name,” I finally admitted. You paused for a moment, maybe to process. Maybe just to listen to the trees and birds and grass and dirt around you.
“What if I never live up to my name?” I asked, now sobbing. I hadn’t realized the weight of that question; one I had asked myself since I was young but had never spoken aloud. You tended to have that effect on everyone, drawing out the dark truths people kept tucked away deep inside.
You spoke firmly in response, looking up toward the sky. “Your name is a tool that speaks of one, only one, of the gifts you can share with our people. Your name does not represent who you are at the core of your being. It’s simply a resource the universe has gifted you. You can shape and use it in whatever way makes sense for you. In whatever way makes sense for our people.”
I think about your words each day. I miss you, Mama, so so much.
Dear Mama Truth,
You were the one who taught me about Mama Foresight and the First Flood. I asked you to tell me the story over and over again. Each time, just before you’d begin the story anew, you’d smile, close your eyes, and take a deep breath. I can still hear your voice, solid, steady, and vibrant.
I want to document the story of our people, to write it down, to honor your words and your memory. I want to read it too, to share it with all of the people who survive the coming flood. I want people to remember.
So, after years of learning from and listening to you, I’ve now become the storyteller. Here, on these brown pages, perhaps for the very first time, I write our family’s origin story.
Mama Foresight was a force of a being, skin kissed lovingly by the sun, hair reaching up toward the heavens. They wore a necklace of glimmering cowrie shells and a lavender tunic that fell to their ankles.
They were revered for their ability to intuit past, present, and future. As an empath, Mama Foresight absorbed the emotions of everyone around them. It was a burden of a gift; the more they took in from others, the less clear their visions became. Still, they preferred to be surrounded by family—cooking, planting, dancing, talking, and laughing together.
As Mama Foresight gave birth to more children, and their children gave birth to more children, they became overwhelmed by the influx of emotional energy. Eventually, they lost their connection to all things past, present, and future. Their spirit felt heavy, worn, out of touch, but so very loved. It seemed a necessary sacrifice.
Until violence arrived.
All night Mama Foresight tossed and turned, sweaty and unable to sleep. A vision called to them, dire, urgent—a frenzied warning. Worried, they journeyed into the nearby forest. Though their pace was hurried, they moved with intention, touching the rough bark of each tree, breathing in the crisp air, and looking up at the moon illuminating their path, trying to ground and clarify their visions. They were too preoccupied to notice the burning stench filling the air.
Once Mama Foresight was some distance away, the vision still blurry in their mind, they realized the forest was no longer illuminated by the moon’s gentle light, but by a red and orange fury, glowing brightly. The village was on fire.
They sobbed, willing their body to move forward, the charring homes just out of reach.
When they finally managed to arrive home, the bodies of half a dozen beings Mama Foresight had never met littered the ground. The abandoned carts nearby spoke to the strangers’ intentions. They were (dusty ass) slavers looking for their next target. Though surely well-practiced in the art of razing and pillaging, their most recent attempt had proved unsuccessful. Some of Mama Foresight’s children had been harmed, but none had been captured. No slaver survived the encounter.
Mama Foresight dropped to their knees and wept. Their children huddled close, radiating their love and gratitude outward. Mama Foresight’s body and spirit buzzed gently, a comforting heat filling the tips of their toes and fingers. There they remained until the sun made its midday ascent into the sky. When it did, Mama Foresight kissed each of their children goodbye, packed a bag, and left to build a more isolated home in the forest.
Until the end of their life, Mama Foresight would periodically return to their children, who had scattered into smaller communities from across the vast stretch of land, to bring stories of the past and share visions of the future.
On their last trip, Mama Foresight spoke of a coming flood, one to wash away what was to make space for what could be. They cautioned our ancestors, our foremothers, to build a fleet of arks made of wood they had prayed and laid hands over to imbue with their magic. They were to take shelter in these arks until the waters receded.
Mama Foresight’s voice was known to be gentle and comforting, a soft and melodic rasp. “Warn your friends and neighbors,” they began. “Those who believe you are to be welcomed into our family. Together you all will start a new world.”
Upon leaving, Mama Foresight informed their children they would not return, that they would take their last breath on earth soon after arriving home that evening. They reminded their many children of the power, resiliency, and magic that flowed through their veins. Just as they had done the night of the fire, Mama Foresight kissed each of their children before heading away for the last time.
The next day, their children traveled back to their homes and began gathering wood. They had one year to prepare.
Dear Mama Truth,
Last night I couldn’t sleep. My ears were inundated by the desperate wails of the prayer group outside. I moved to the small window to glare at them from behind the curtain. I don’t think you’ve ever seen them; they started meeting after you died.
They gather each night, all night sometimes, on the pier, now the town’s most essential infrastructure. Like a far-reaching tree, its branches stretch in all directions, connecting the edge of one dock to another, subtly looping around the slowly disintegrating structures that we can no longer recognize as our homes. A blazing fire illuminates their sorrow. Each attendee perches on their knees, heads bowed in resignation.
Dozens were present yesterday, neighbors I have known, all of us have known, all our lives. Neighbors who grew up next door to our family, who picked buttercups from the ground and held them under my chin, who overturned rocks in search of roly-polies at my side, who scavenged for honeysuckle on sunny afternoons, who I played with on squeaky tire swings, who chased fireflies with me late into the night. Hell, even one of the cuties who snuck into my bed late at night before heading back to her boyfriend was there. I noticed the group had doubled in size in less than a week.
I think they look ridiculous. Cloaked in black robes. Bright orange life jackets strapped tightly around their waists. Mama Patience stays, reminding me not to mock them for their misguided hopelessness. She, just like so many of my mamas, spent months attempting to persuade them, along with everyone else in town, to join us in the ark. “There’s space for all of us”, she assured them. But they refused time and time again.
The praying horde thinks if they weep loudly enough some distant god might hear them. Despair is an irresistible amnesiac, it seems. They’ve forgotten about the god in themselves.
Once I made the mistake of walking along the pier during one of their ceremonies. An old man who had been a farmer just a year before grabbed me unexpectedly by the hand. He spoke with a terrifying urgency, both begging and demanding me to listen. Recognizing who I was, his eyes widened.
“May the wrath of God rain upon your monstrous family! That wretched ark is an affront to God’s will. If we find it, we shall make quick work of destroying it.” He licked his cracked lips. “It is our fate to die, slowly and painfully. It is our retribution for the slow and painful death we brought upon God’s precious earth!”
I tried to pull away. My reluctance seemed to harden his resolve. He squeezed my hand tighter, trapping me where I stood. He dug his nails into me in disgust.
“You and your family are to blame. Filthy animals, all of you! Join us on the path of righteousness! Repent before the water consumes us all!”
I took a deep breath and clenched my fists, holding back the urge to wrap my hands around his neck. “Let me go or I’ll throw you off this fucking ledge,” I managed through gritted teeth.
At once he released me and began to weep. I scowled in the direction of the congregation who’d been watching the encounter. They quickly looked away, ashamed of their own curiosity. I ran away from them, moving quickly across the pier, wood creaking with each step, and entered the boat that had become our home eleven months before.
I sighed, trying to shake away the memory. After that, I promised I wouldn’t bear witness to any more of their ceremonies. But there I was, almost gawking at the absurdity. Holding back tears, I let the curtain return to its resting place.
Dear Mama Truth,
Earlier this morning, Mama Comfort and Mama Caution approached the corner of the boat I had commandeered as my room. Mama Comfort was dressed in a seafoam green romper. Mama Caution’s black tunic seemed faded, but the beadwork around the collar looked deceptively new. They both wore dark rainboots. I peeked down at my own noisy footwear. We wear rainboots pretty much every day now.
Mama Caution spoke first. “Plans have changed. We’re heading to the ark tonight.”
I paused for a moment, scanning through all the questions in my head. I settled on one that seemed most relevant.
“Tensions have been rising along with the water levels,” Mama Comfort explained, hair flowing gracefully down her back. She smiled softly and moved closer to me. “It’s better if we go,” she added. I assumed she was leaving out some uncomfortable information.
Mama Caution shot her a “stop your bullshit” glance. You know the look. Lips drawn tight like an archer’s bow. Stepping ahead slightly, Mama Caution updated me on the prayer group’s plans. They had connected with congregants in nearby towns and agreed the arks should be found and demolished. “For some reason,” she said, “they believe our arks are a challenge to their one true god’s power and continue to blame the impending flood on the arks’ existence. We aren’t too worried about anyone finding them, of course, but a splinter group is emerging, one set on not only destroying the arks but all of our family members as well.”
“Did something happen today?” I asked.
I noticed a grimace forming on Mama Comfort’s face. She was never one for unpleasant news, especially when it was not communicated with the care she desired. Mama Caution crossed her arms and widened her stance. Rainboots squeaked under her steps.
Mama Comfort began to cry. Mama Caution took a deep breath, looking away from me. “Mama Patience was attacked today.”
I shook my head in disbelief. Anger and worry prevented me from speaking.
“She’s being taken care of. Just a few bumps and bruises,” Mama Comfort assured me through tears. “Mama Defiance was nearby and protected her.”
(I bet “protected her” means “whooped that ass”.)
“They’re both safe and will be back soon,” she continued. “But something like this might happen again.”
“So, it’s better if we go,” Mama Caution said once more.
My head turned toward the window, confused by how quickly our neighbors had become our hunters.
“I’ll do my final walk along the pier now, then,” I offered.
The wind spoke gently to me as I strolled along. Once I had walked far enough for the prayer group’s flames to disappear from view, I searched for a dry spot to sit at the edge of a quiet dock. Finding none, I slowly lowered myself down, accepting my fate, before dangling my legs over the side.
I rocked myself to the ebb and flow of the waves, its rhythm smooth and steady. My mind wandered back to everything I missed and everything I had lost since the waters began rising. I thought about napping on the grass on sunny days, walking barefoot in the dirt, moonlight bike riding through forest trails, foraging for blackberries, talking with you under the oak tree.
I thought about how much I missed you. How sad I am that you’re gone. How angry I am that you left me here.
It didn’t take long for me to start crying.
At some point, I stood up, soggy ass and all, and started my walk home. I tried not to think about the restlessness that would become my new normal once we entered the ark. How I would have limited space to run and stretch and jump and dance. How I would be safe and protected but trapped all the same.
In a trance-like state, I journeyed across the wooden walkway one last time, turned to say goodbye to the only place, the only home, I had ever known, and slipped into the boat.
We departed moments later. The end didn’t feel fucking beautiful anymore. It just felt like the end.
After a lengthy and involved process, the foremothers decided to build seven arks in total, each a unique colossal structure.
Mama Foresight’s progeny were all gifted with magical abilities, serving as healers, farmers, storytellers, musicians, foragers, pleasure artists, stargazers, and carpenters. They worked to stay connected to the sky, the earth, and its peoples.
Once construction began, small groups ventured out to warn their friends and neighbors of the flood. They spoke deliberately but delicately, working to express a clear sense of urgency without inciting panic. The foremothers traveled from home to home, hoping their message would be well-received.
“In less than a year’s time, the waters will consume the land on which we’ve built our homes. We invite you and your family to seek shelter in the arks we are building.”
Some responded with disbelief: “There’s no way a flood would swallow up all the land. Your seer must have been mistaken.”
Others with suspicion and mistrust: “If a flood did come, you’d never make it in some wooden ark.”
And others still, with an exaggerated belief in their own immortality: “My family’s been here for generations. We’ve survived disasters before, and we’ll do so again. No flood, no matter how powerful, will move me from my home.”
The foremothers were disheartened by many of their neighbors’ decisions. Some of them had lived side by side for generations, sharing crops, caring for children, gathering for feasts to celebrate the new moon. These were neighbors who knew of the foremothers’ magic, who honored their family structure, who sought out their ancestral knowledge. By refusing to join them, their neighbors were condemning themselves to death. It was difficult for the foremothers to accept the fate their neighbors had chosen.
The hundred or so who believed the foremothers traveled back to the building site and helped to prepare for the flood. Months later, the work of building each ark had been completed.
With a week to spare, everyone transitioned into the arks, each resting firmly on wooden supports that would wash away with the flood. As soon as the last of the seven great doors were closed, the rains began and refused to stop.
After nearly a week of nonstop rain, hordes of the foremothers’ former neighbors appeared. Full of fear, they slammed their fists against each ark’s door, begging for admittance. To open the ark’s door was to invite the waters inside. The foremothers and the neighbors who joined them had no choice but to sit and listen to the wails of the people they once knew.
No one spoke. Many held each other close, wiping tears from their eyes. They recognized many of the voices outside. But they were powerless to help them.
Initially, they pleaded for mercy, their sobs distinctly heard despite the roar of the pouring rain. They apologized, expressed their profound regret, prayed for compassion. When their pleas remained unanswered, their despondent, though still hopeful, anguish transformed into an exasperated rage, one brimming with hate and resentment. They tried to rip the ark apart.
When their efforts failed, the neighbors outside began cursing the foremothers. They blamed them for the flood, accusing them of inviting such suffering into the world. They called them heartless, cruel, loathsome, repulsive, immoral. Then they started to chant, boldly and maliciously.
Animals. Animals. Animals.
The neighbors’ rallying call continued for nearly a day until the water washed all of them away. The ark lifted from the supports and floated off into the sea. Those inside the ark remained silent for hours after, mourning, grieving, and processing the magnitude of such profound loss.
They remained in the arks’ warm embrace for forty days and forty nights. On the forty-first day, they opened the doors.
Dear Mama Truth,
I’ve come to realize our family’s magic is hard to explain to people who’ve never experienced it. It’s not really about moving things with your mind and shit, though some people can. It’s more like a loving nudge in a different direction. Harnessing our own energy, each other’s energy, and the earth’s energy. Our foremothers could feel and understand and intuit and move and transform those energies. That magic lives within me too, though some days I have a hard time believing it.
One evening you and I were sitting in rocking chairs on the front porch. I told you I was frustrated that I still didn’t know how to harness the energy around me, feeling I should have figured it out years ago. “Look at that old oak tree,” you said. I breathed loudly, annoyed, and turned my head to the left.
“What do you see?” you asked.
“Leaves. Branches. A trunk. All the pieces of a regular oak tree.”
“Now what can’t you see, Serenity? What allows us to look at the beauty that is the leaves, the branches, the trunk?”
I nodded, turning back to look at you. “The roots, Mama Truth,” I said.
“Mmm,” you replied. “Roots that are nourished by the sun, the soil, and the water. Strong roots, ones that extend deep and wide, that connect to and work together with others. That’s what allows the tree to become the powerful life form that it is. And strong roots take time to grow. Just as our power does.”
“When will I know that I’m rooted enough?”
You smiled. “You might not know until it happens. Your magic might unexpectedly manifest when you need it the most. Or when the people around you do. Give it time, my love. You’ll learn.”
“But what if I don’t?” I wondered aloud.
You stopped rocking in your chair and took my hands in your own. “You will, and I’ll be right there beside you to see.”
I still can’t do it, Mama Truth. I need you here to guide me.
Dear Mama Truth,
We didn’t need a compass, or a map, or some fancy GPS to lead us to port. We simply followed the stars and made use of the energies the wind and sea provide to guide us there. It was still dark when the bright lights of the island harbor came into view.
After tying our boat to the harbor, Mama Caution ventured off to report our arrival. I watched her quickly walk away from my window. Returning my gaze to the boat’s interior, I noticed Mama Comfort, Mama Defiance, and Mama Patience cuddled up on the floor together, sleeping soundly. I decided to follow their lead and pass the fuck out.
Once the sun rose, its rays peeked through the window and onto my face, gently persuading me to wake up. I was alone in the boat and hungry as hell. My growling stomach finally convinced me to get moving. Half-asleep, I stood up and stretched my arms above my head. After changing clothes and slipping on my rainboots, I journeyed outside.
A sea of beautiful brown faces greeted me on the dock. Though surrounded by the noisy and chaotic crowd that was my family, I had never felt more at peace. I was received warmly by everyone I met. I’d only met a few dozen family members before that day, now I was sharing space with a few thousand.
The island was more beautiful than I had imagined. Clear blue water, soft sand at my feet, lush trees that reached toward the sky. I closed my eyes and stretched my arms as far as they could reach. The wind whispered at my side; the sun blessed me with a kiss. I felt overwhelmed with gratitude, with love, knowing I was standing in the place our foremothers had decided their descendants would one day meet. Just as they asked, their people traveled from all over the world to be here, to experience the end, and the beginning, as one family.
Eventually, I found my four mamas singing with a group of musicians along the shoreline. Mama Comfort winked and tossed me a golden apple, her smile sweet and reassuring. The twangy sounds of a banjo filled my ears while the rhythmic clicking of the spoons kept a steady beat. I positioned myself next to Mama Patience, who, despite her injuries, seemed to be beaming, and I began to sing along. I gazed up at the abundant clouds floating overhead.
I wish you could have been there, Mama. With such a joyful song in our hearts, the flood seemed so very far away.
Dear Mama Truth,
Tonight, before entering the ark, I thought of you, my confidant who I loved deeply and lost unexpectedly. When I learned what happened, I kicked and screamed and spewed vicious poison at everyone in the room. I remembered being cradled in Mama Comfort’s arms, being held in all my fucking anguish. She hushed me in soft tones, rocking me back and forth. I wailed loudly, shaking with rage. Mama Patience, Mama Defiance, and Mama Caution encircled us, chanting and humming in low tones.
Nothing could have prepared me to lose any of my mamas, but especially you. You, a never-ending well of wisdom and insight. You, the person who gifted me with a journal just a week before. The journal I now use to write you these letters and to write our family’s story.
I didn’t know how burdened you felt by the truth, how heavy the fate of the world sat on your shoulders. It ripped me apart. And I hated you for it.
I became even more restless after your death, moving constantly to avoid dwelling on my anger and sorrow. In writing to you, I’ve learned to confront what I’m feeling, to sit with what is. In the last few weeks, I’ve learned to find moments of peace, of serenity even, amid my grief. Maybe I’ll learn how to make use of my power after all.
Leaving the ark, the new world our foremothers entered was lush and green and infinitely vast. A cloudless blue sky received the lot of them, all grateful to stretch and run around in ways they had been unable to for over a month. They gazed at the rainbow glittering faintly in the distance, a symbol of their divine survival.
To celebrate that survival, they dressed in all white and prepared a feast. For days, they danced, sang, clapped, ate, laughed, and prayed. They wrapped themselves in the energies of all living things.
At night, the foremothers discussed their roles as stewards of this renewed land. They tasked themselves with establishing loving and supportive communities across the earth, ones that would harness energy to create and sustain life.
After a few years of living together, they resolved to migrate in smaller groups to care for the vast amounts of land that were reemerging across the earth. Their goodbyes were sad but cheerful. Promising to remain connected however they were able, they ventured off into the new unknown.
The arks were hidden underwater in seven remote locations across the globe. There they would lay in wait in case they were needed once more.
With each passing generation, more and more of the foremothers’ descendants lost sight of their past, disregarding both their magic and responsibility to the world. Their understanding of our history became warped; they spoke of wicked beings who damned the earth, of men who saved a select few, of animals being caged two-by-two.
But those who remembered passed on the true story. Still today, they care for the earth and its people. Still today, they move toward life.
Dear Mama Truth,
Three weeks after we arrived, the rains began. As we entered the ark, a nervous energy appeared, lingering in the air. There, surrounded by the increasingly anxious crowd that was our family, I was reminded of our resilience. Of our magic. Of our legacy. I felt the energy of our foremothers, of the water that would carry us to safety. I harnessed that energy, spoke tenderly to it, and moved it outward.
We inhaled together, moving as a single organism. Releasing our collective breath, our energy calmed and softened. We entered the vessel, hopeful and untroubled.
I turned my palms upward and looked down at them, amazed by the ordinary appearance of such a powerful gift. I faced them toward the entryway, inviting the door to close. It accepted the invitation and clicked into place. Placing my palm on the door, I felt deeply connected to the ark’s energy. I thought of the old oak tree that grew in our yard and I thought of you. Gently, I leaned my head on the back of my hand, expressing gratitude for the wood and the trees it came from. And all of a sudden, you were there, Mama. Right beside me. You whispered that you loved me and clasped my hands in yours just like you used to. I wiped a tear from my cheek as you faded away.
Thank you for keeping your promise, Mama Truth. Thank you for believing in my power.
When I turned around, I saw folks moving about the ark, finding their own space to call home. My mamas stood together, forming a semi-circle, looking prouder than I had ever seen them. I ran to them, and the four hugged me tightly. I felt so very loved.
Less than a week later, the water carried us away. Despite all the chaos of the outside world, we were lulled by the graceful rhythm of the ark. We sang, danced, ate, laughed, and envisioned what could be.
Together we will start a new world, Mama Truth. I can’t wait for you to see it.
Lush Horizon is a Black queer storyteller from the South. In early 2020, their work received an honorable mention for the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest. They attended the VONA/Voices Speculative Fiction workshop in 2017. Lush is an auntie to four little humans, deeply committed to abolitionist practice, and hoping to learn the fiddle one day.