This is something that I would like to write in it’s entirety one day.
It’s a political sci-fi novel aimed at teens which is obviously the best genre.
And as the sky turns on that last day of ignorance
A visitor comes to you from within the Earth itself.
It was the end of dry season and one could already feel the sticky wet cloth of January lowering slowly over the countryside. Red dirt hills rolled as far as the eye could see and white limbs of parched trees stretched to the sky, begging for rain. The last big rain had been a month ago.
As evening rolled in, the sky started shedding daytime blue, bringing in blots of a pink that was so strongly pigmented it looked like somebody had mixed it in a factory.
It was Shay’s favourite time of day because she didn’t often get to see it. She clambered up over the rim of the corrugated iron roofing to perch on what, in that moment, was the top of the world. She grabbed herself by the knees and hugged them up to her chin.
Shay was a spindly girl just shy of 17 with skin that had seen many days under a hot sun. She had recently cut her hair short with blunt scissors. She had alarmingly big, knowing eyes, which meant that people didn’t like to meet her gaze too often. She was a strange girl, she knew that. She had a calm exterior with a river of hot anger running underneath it. This unnerved some people.
“Shay! SHAY! Where the fuck is that girl?”
She hugged her knees tighter to her chin and closed her eyes. There was a slight breeze at this time of day, which not only carried words from the house below up to the roof but also carried the perfume of frangipani up from Mrs. S’s tree next door. She inhaled deeply and opened her eyes to stare at the pink sky until they started to well with the effort. Shay would wait a bit before heading down. There was still half an hour before she usually put the rice on to cook.
She looked out over their little town and not for the first time considered how badly designed it was. It was not a town that you would want to live in. It was a ‘drive-by’ town on the highway to the ocean. Neat rows, 12 by 8, 96 houses in total. The corrugated iron roofs had been painted a bright yellow that blurred into one ominous orb in the hottest hours between 11am-3pm. The houses were all in various states of disrepair and renovation.
Shay thought back. It had been 12 years now since the government had erected the community, bulldozing their old homes of thatched bamboo and flax. She had been a tiny spidery-limbed girl of 6, sucking on a piece of watermelon as her mother screamed and her father held her back from the demolition. Back then, the community houses had been all shiny new tiles and concrete. They said that they signified the dawn of a new age.
They were yet to see that come to fruition.
In her town, Shay knew, that people were lucky. They lived close enough to the ocean that sometimes they would be able to buy fish from passing fishermen on their way back to the bigger cities in the inland districts. They had plenty of chickens and pigs scratching around, which the community rarely fought over. Their land was relatively fertile- Shay’s family grew potato, pumpkin and wild spinach. Rice was easy enough to come by, chucked off the back of sleek buses zooming down the highway that cut through the town. She stared down the black ribbon that spun itself around the red hills, slicing through the dust like a machete.
“SHAY! GIRL, IF YOU DON’T GET IN HERE!”
She sighed, stretching her legs out in front of her to dangle over the edge of the roof.
“Coooooming! Give me a minute eh!”
She curled her toes and then extended them again, enjoying the control that she had over her body. It felt almost lazy, watching that sun dip down ever lower.
She heard a sharp crack in the dense shrubs at the back of the house.
Her head whipped around to peer into the general direction where the noise had come from.
Another crack, like the quick sure snap of a lightning bolt during monsoon. She shuffled her body over to the other side of the roof and began to lower herself down the ladder that led to the shrubs. Mostly herbs, although some were weeds hiding young cacti waiting to prick adventurous children. She was sure that it would just be one of the pigs, rooting around noisily.
“Hello…?” Shay spoke cautiously as she pushed into the shrubbery. Sometimes her cousins liked to screw around with her for fun and often they went too far. She balled her fist and pushed further in. “Hey Ina if that’s you, you can fuck off!” she hissed into a rambling Rosemary bush. That was when, to her immediate left, a large rock unearthed itself and revealed a hole burrowing into the dirt.
Shay leapt back with such speed that she toppled and started to push herself away from the hole backward with her palms.
“What the f….”
A voice, strangely accented, one that Shay could hardly understand, spoke from within the hole. “Stay calm. I come to you in peace with a message.”