Earlier this year, I wrote a sci-fi short story called “A Gift from the Founder”, and since it’s my birthday and I’m feeling self-indulgent I’m taking the night thread to share it1. I’d be flattered if anyone cared to read it. The entirety of the story, about 3.7k words (7 pages), can be found at this Google Docs link. Here’s the beginning:
The tourists came from the line that split the Animalward sky. Alweg had spotted them first, using her telescope to survey the horizon the day after the light reached the ocean. They kicked up huge plumes of spray as they blasted across the waves. The Commissar’s assistant had given her a merit for the discovery, and estimated that they’d arrive at the Wall the next evening.
“Can I have Wall scrubbing on Xunday?” Alweg had begged.
“With the red the way it is?” Her supervisor, barely three years older than her, wrinkled his nose.
“Needs scrubbing more than ever, yes?”
“Well… since nobody else wants to do it…” he conceded, marking her down on the clipboard.
“Can I have an Animalward section?”
“Be proper,” he chided.
She sighed. “A western section?”
“Don’t push your luck.” But he’d given her one. She dangled from the harness above the rotting red ocean, setting sun in her eyes, and scraped jellyfish guts off the Wall with her long-handled broom. Every so often she shifted a little bit Hollyward, whether or not she had finished the current section – the Wall was never fully clean, anyway. It would have taken a thousand times more children to fully scrub its vast circumference of the ocean’s filth. But the Founder had demanded.
If you decide to read it, I’d love to know when in the story you “catch on”. Please use spoiler tags if talking about it.
Have a good night, everyone!