TITLE: In the Garden of Iron & Glass
Two brothers are searching through a hill-top cemetery (of mausoleums) for glass tiles. They live in a desert by the ocean and have never seen plants/flowers/etc before. Are you horribly confused by this description?
"Wow! Look at these tiles!" Hector walked slowly, trailing his hands across the surface until one in particular caught his eye. The tile was made of clear blue-tinted glass, but the flattened object inside was frail, delicate, and would easily fit in his small palm. The center looked like a sun polyp, a tiny yellow disc with dozens of miniature tentacles sprouting from the entire surface. It was nestled in the center of a three-pointed star that was so white, Hector thought it was paper until he noticed the slight ridges of veins across the surface. "Hey, come over here, I think she'll like this one. Do you know what this is inside the glass?"
He stepped back so that Simon, who had been following close behind him, could see.
Simon frowned. "I don't know. It's too fragile to be coral and it's not any kind of algae or seaweed." He wiped a thin film of dust from the tile with his sleeve. "It's not paint, either. I wonder if it's something from far away that the caravans brought."
Hector's eyes roved over the row of coffins. There were hundreds of tiles with mysterious and colorful objects pressed between the layers of clear glass. He wandered to the end of the aisle, intending to check the other side, when he stopped, his heart hammering in his throat like the waves against the shore. "Simon... Simon, what is that?"
Below Hector was something strange. Behind the top row of mausoleums the ground dropped away, rolling down to a lower ridge before a sheer drop to the black, rippling sea. On that barren ridge of sand and stone, something large and green clawed up towards the sky, something wider and taller than any house or factory in the glass city.
Hector shaded his eyes against the sun and squinted at the tallest point, which was vaguely cylindrical, and tried to figure out what he was looking at. It rose from the wide nest of green, too perfect to be natural, but not smooth sided or linear like a building should be. From there, his eyes wandered towards the ground and across the mysterious expanse of green. To him, it looked vaguely like an underwater reef, pitted and twisted from the slowly compounding growth of coral life, death and rebirth. Hector stared, breathless, unable to describe the layers of green overlapped with sun and shadow in a wild and tangled nexus with blue sky tearing through every tattered gap. Then the wind blew, and what Hector took to be solid formations began to move. There was a muted rush as suddenly the air was alive with rustling, like the fluttering of a thousand birds. The snarl of green warped, shook and bucked as it yielding to the wind.