Lorna leaned in and slapped me hard across the face. A bump of adrenaline plowed through my system. Then she laced her fingers around my throat and squeezed. I knew I was going to experience reality shifting beneath my feet again, and there was no denying the thrill.
On the day she officially became a teenager, Annie’s thoughts turned sideways, her mind becoming awkwardly misshapen and filled with fury by the weight of her family and even that of the entire world limiting her, forcing her towards impulsively terrible actions.
Royce Ashbernham was a prominent man when he married Isadore Belmont and they were happy until the day he discovered she had been cheating with his cousin and it destroyed him to the core of his being.
Many years down the line, Isadore ran into Royce and was shocked to see he was homeless and begging for money on the street. The regret in her throat was like dropping something precious and watching it fall.
She pledged to help him get back on his feet again and while her attention was diverted, Royce allowed himself a sly smile. The first stage of his revenge was going swimmingly.
From the leaden sky, big wet snowflakes floated down and softened the dark contours of the cemetery and black umbrellas of the assembled mourners. I stood at the mouth of the open grave and tossed a single rose onto the mahogany coffin my body was meant to be in.
Now the hunt was on to find my would-be murderer.
Polly hid within the false security of utter darkness of her closet, tearfully listening to the escalating screams of her parents spitting unadulterated venom at one another. The fight had been going on for hours, same as every night this week, leaving the 10-year-old to drown in the torrent of racing thoughts and fears that when the fight was finally over she might become an orphan.
So far, the media isn’t reporting on her technological breakthrough as a result of the corporate leak, but for Sonja, it’s a stark reminder that her artificial son is far too mysterious, dangerous, and unknowable to exist in the public eye.
The only blood relation in the townhouse were a sister and brother, neither of which were ever quite fortunate enough to find their soulmate or at least a suitable companion to complete them. Over a number of years they became the legal guardians to twenty-seven children of various ages, nationalities and gender identities, all rescue adoptions plucked from one disaster or another. Their family coat of arms was stitched together from many varied pieces of cloth, a thing that could never be whole. And yet somehow was.
I washed up on the shore of this land, plucked from the wreckage and welcomed by strangers. Now, I live among these people, working with and loving them, though their language, their place of origin and even their names are unknown to me. They know little of the world outside their tight-knit community, expecting it to come to them. And it never does.
Emmaculata Xenomid 2.0 was 100% organic but she was raised by faceless robots from birth which meant she lacked the ability to make friendly facial expressions when in polite societal conversation so her human adoptive parents fitted her with subdermal holographic implants to give her a virtual smile to make her more approachable.
Élise said, “Ne me quitte pas,” and I only understood the words “leave” and “me” so that was what I did, little realizing I was walking away from my one true soulmate all because of a language barrier and my preteen refusal to pay attention in French Class.