My seventh school
The sea of strangers surrounds me
I introduce myself to a girl in the lunch queue
“Why did you join in the middle of the year?”
I tell her my parents are in the navy.
She says, her face calculating.
“You’re one of those.”
Mother’s eyes are stone.
“Later, I’ll inspect your room.”
Look down, nod. “Yes, ma’am.”
Every night, we watch the news.
The war footage is hellish and with every death they announce a fresh terror seizes me.
I keep checking the photos, but it’s never my Father.
Relief fills me… but then I feel guilty;
Somewhere in the world a family is mourning.
What right do I have to feel relieved?
The news theme tune is the soundtrack to my nightmares.
The cycle never ends.
“What I am about to tell you is the truth. I’m not saying you’ll like it, I’m not saying you’ll agree with it. But remember that everything I will tell you is absolute fact.
The year is 2561 and the world is hell. War and corruption and disease – this has become our reality. Population: twelve-point-six billion. The earth is bursting with people; so many that cities are overflowing with people, sewage and pollution. Oil, coal and natural gas ran out hundreds of years ago and the ice caps are long since gone. The tropical rainforests have been obliterated. A plague pandemic charmingly named, ‘the bloody disease’ has wiped out three million people worldwide… and it’s spreading. Welcome to hell on earth…”
To read in full, click here. Or you can find it under my stories page.
This post is dedicated to a clever Conspiracy…
* * *
She scraped back her hair into a tight bun, catching every loose hair that attempted to escape. The chipped mirror in the corner of her tent beckonded temptingly. The lady sighed, strode over and glanced at her reflection. Her hard grey eyes looked back.
She had always prided herself on not being girlie- of never wearing makeup. Her face was weather beaten and beginning to show the first signs of age. The heat and wind of the hostile desert had given her sunburn. Her uniform was covered in red dust and really needed a wash… but what did she care about her appearance? She was back where she belonged. Everything, down to the way she wore her hair, was familiar and welcoming.
Going back to China had been a bad decision. The luxuries, the spoilt, pampered lifestyle; it wasn’t for her. She didn’t want to grow old and decrepid and be a burden to those around her. Her ambition was to help. To fight. And that was exactly what she was doing. She marched out of her tent to find her troops already waiting for her. She faced them, hands on hips, legs apart.
Captain Katterli Chang of the Sixth Eastborn Regiment stood and addressed her men with one eyebrow raised and a smile that meant trouble. “Right, my boys…” She drawled. “Let’s go kick some ass.”