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Commonwealth: A Novel of Utopia, part 2, chapter 10

Author’s Note: This is an excerpt from my novel Commonwealth. The rest of today’s installment is free, but only on my Patreon site. If you want to read the next part today, it’s already up on Patreon as well. You can sign up for as little as $1/month, or $2 for exclusive author’s notes and behind-the-scenes material. There’s also a table of contents for all published chapters.

Rae took a footpath into the park, following the directions Sophia had given. The trees closed around her and screened out the city. If she hadn’t known better, it would have been easy to believe she was in a wilderness miles from civilization.

Small brooks meandered through the park, trickling over rocky precipices and gathering in tranquil pools. Occasionally, she glimpsed stone markers set in the earth. They weren’t heavy headstones, but humble memorials carved with names, dates, and snippets of literature or poetry.

She found Sophia in a glade deep in the forest. It was a stand of western red cedar trees, their trunks as straight as stone columns, soaring to distant green crowns. Their reddish-brown bark, gnarled like braided hair, filled the clearing with a resinous fragrance.

At the foot of one of the trees, Sophia sat on a mossy rock. She was looking at a black strip of freshly turned earth that stood out against the brown needle carpet of the forest floor.

“Welcome, Rae,” she said.

“Is that a grave?”

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DAYLIGHT ATHEISM Adam Lee is an atheist author and speaker from New York City. His previously published books include "Daylight Atheism," "Meta: On God, the Big Questions, and the Just City," and most...