I was thirteen, and it was a chill winter night. My mother had taken me to a factory party with her. It was near Solstice and the Metalworks, where she held a job for ViCad Corp, threw a huge holiday party for all the workers and their families every winter, complete with a buffet, pageantry, and games. When my father was alive, we went as a family, given he had also worked for ViCad. But now, it was just my mother and me.
It was icy cold, with six inches of snow on the ground, and we were waiting at a Monotrain platform. But the train had broken down—the trains back to the Trips, where we lived, always had problems any time an ice storm hit. The readerboard flashed that it would be another hour before it arrived.
“We can’t just stand here. We’ll walk.” Marlene, my mother, glanced up at the sky. The storm had lifted, and stars twinkled down at us through the icy night.
I didn’t want to walk but kept my mouth shut. Marlene did her best to keep our lives together, even after my father died from blue-lung disease. ViCad was known for its poor health practices for its workers, but times were rough and jobs scarce, so neither one of my parents objected. And the fact that I was a Theosian brought in a little extra cash. ViCad had a vested interest in keeping the parents of Theosians employed, hoping at some point to use our powers.
She crossed her arms, tucking her hands under her armpits as we picked our way through the frozen slush and ice. “Damn, it’s cold out here.” Her breath hung in the air, freezing into vapor.
I was cold, too, but she had managed to buy me a new coat and a hat, and my boots were new, so I wasn’t going to complain. It was the end of the month and food was scarce until payday, but the party had offered a good chance to fill up our pockets with finger foods to tide us over until her next check. I had at least ten biscuits, three apples, and a half-dozen pastries hiding out in my backpack.
I stomped my feet as we stopped by a lamp post to catch our breath.
She flashed me a rueful look, her teeth chattering. “I’m sorry, honey. I just don’t want to chance freezing if we stayed at the platform and the next train didn’t come either. I can’t afford a cab. We’ll try another Monotrain platform when we make it to Darktown.”
I shrugged. “Whatever. I’m cold but it’s okay. I’ve been colder. I can walk if you can.”
“Thank you for being such a good sport. Did you enjoy the party?” Marlene beamed at me.
It seemed important to her, so I nodded. “Yeah, good food. It was pretty.” The decorations had been a muted glow of gold and silver and red against the walls, and the tree had looked real enough to me. Nobody ever cut down trees for decorations anymore. Gaia had put an end to that along with a number of other activities.
“I promise, we’ll be home soon and I’ll heat up some soup and we’ll curl up and watch a late movie. I have the day off tomorrow.” Marlene wrapped her arm around my shoulders and I leaned against her. I loved her, and though she wasn’t ever fully sure how to cope with having a daughter who was a Theosian, she did her best.
FURY RISING is available in both E-format and print. You will not be able to buy this in stores, you will have to order it online. It will not be available on Google-Play. I sure hope you enjoy it! If you do, consider dropping a review, please. They matter for indie authors/books. First chapter is up on the FURY RISING page if you want to see the world I’ve started!