Morning dawned on the world of green.
The inhabitants awoke from their verdant beds to find that the central ocean had been replenished, as it was every night.
“Dad, where does the ocean come from?” the boy asked his father as the family walked down one of the jade veins that radiated out from the center of the leaf.
“It comes from the sky,” the father said. “Every day it dries up and then is replaced during the cool of the night.” They reached the edge of the ocean, which towered above them, curving out of sight. They could see others gathering on the far side of the ocean, their forms skewed by the curved surface of the water.
The family drank, putting their mouths to the wall of water in front of them and drinking deeply. After several minutes, when all were refreshed, they began the climb back up the leaf to their home.
“Dad?” the boy asked. “What if the ocean stops being replenished?”
“Do you mean the legends, son?” the father asked. “The legends of terrible cold or burning heat? That is not likely to happen, but if it does, we will move to a different leaf. There are thousands of them, you know.
“What if it happens to all of them?”
The father only smiled and ruffled his son’s hair but the fear tightened inside him, the fear that he would admit to no one. It was the same fear that they all felt, in the private recesses of their minds if the night was long or the weather turned strange.
What if the ocean stops coming? What if extreme heat withers the leaf? What if cold freezes everything into an uninhabitable wasteland?