The real landscape of Mars isn’t red, not really. It’s the colour of a fox cub lying in a carpet of dry, auburn, autumnal leaves.
I’ve seen that fox… sometimes, playing, or staring directly into my eyes, searching for god knows what.
A creature clearly unaffected by the boiling, poisonous atmosphere; the fox would be almost entirely camouflaged if it were not thickly outlined by darker, Martian mountains, that appear bloodied and broken, like beaten gums.
On my last sighting of my impossible friend, the fox ambles towards me, and as I bend down stiffly to greet it, its head cocks to the right, and on anticipating my touch; crumbles like stale, birthday cake.
‘Well of course’ I speak morosely. I then return to my position with all the headlines, clinching a flag none the less; with all the feel and comfort of a dying hand in a useless glove.