Sci-Fi Novel: An-Other World Episode 1
I wake with senses on keen alert, picking up any noises coming from outside. I hear no sirens, no clatter of military boots against the sidewalk. Only a light rain tapping on the window pane.
It’s all right, I tell myself. Elimination won’t come for us today. They still don’t realize we’re among the mind breakers they’re hunting. My clothing is too old and worn to keep me warm enough in the morning chill. Shivering, I walk to the kitchen and open the cupboards, looking for something to eat. Empty. Only a few stale crackers and yesterday’s teabag still in the cup. Today is only Wednesday and Friday is my payday. Two more days with neither food nor money. How in the heck are we gonna make it? Hoping for a miracle, I check out the jar where we keep our change.
Several dirty coins fall out on the scratched table. It’s not enough to buy a real lunch or supper, but it might provide a small slice of pizza for kathy and maybe a cup of coffee for myself. I place the kettle on the oven to warm before going to wake my little sister. Entering the bedroom, I see her dreaming peacefully. She is only fifteen and looks like an angel while sleeping. Her unruly reddish hair curls into tight locks, covering her tiny shoulders. Obviously, kathy doesn’t suffer from the same bad dreams. I touch her arm gently. “kathy,” I say. “Time to get ready.” kathy complains and shakes off my hand. “Come on,” I say louder. “You’ll be late.” Finally, she opens her dark green eyes and props herself on an elbow, being groggy and angry. “Why do I need to bother with that stupid school?” she asks. “Those brainless teachers just make me sick.” I sit down on her bed, preparing mentally for a long and tiring conversation. “I know,” kathy says, rolling her eyes. “Education is so important blah-blah-blah. It will help me get a good job in the future and more blah-blah.” “Exactly,” I say. “Do you really believe all that?” “I do. I may not always be around to take care of you. Remember what’s going on in the world these days.” “Oh, lordy!” she exclaims. “You’ve forgotten we’re breakers. We just need to stop hiding.” I frown, feeling uneasy.
Our conversation has taken a dangerous turn. “Get rid of any such thoughts,” I say, “or we’ll both end up in prison or worse.” The smile fades from her lips. “I’m not scared of Elimination,” she states. “I can protect myself and you as well.” “Get up and get ready,” I answer. “Don’t make me drag you out of bed.” The kettle whistles in the kitchen. I hurry to make two cups of weak tea, using the teabag found earlier. Placing the crackers on a plate near kathy's cup, I take a sip of tea and can’t help from wincing. Tasteless and smelly, it’s much worse than I’d expected.
Dressed in a dark blue school jacket and a short black skirt, kathy comes into the kitchen and plops down on the chair. Her hair sticks out in all different crazy directions, making her look scruffy. With another sigh, she takes a gulp of her tea and coughs. “Oh my,” kathy expels. “No sugar?” “Sorry,” I say. “Goodness,” kathy groans. “Why do we always have to do without? We can take whatever we want. I’m sick of hiding and living like rats.
Actually, rats may be better fed.” “Stop it, kathy,” I say, raising my voice. “I told you to quit thinking that way.” “Whatever,” she mutters, realizing that arguing is pointless. “So what do we do?” I smile, pretending to be unconcerned. “Don’t worry,” I say. “I’ll ask Thompson at the bank for an advance.” “Maybe it would be easier to just rob your bank?”