Hagai woke with a book attached to his face. He peeled it off and found his glasses where they’d fallen nearby. Page 91 of Lushita’s City was ruined. It was wrinkled by sweat, the words faded – probably imprinted on his face in reverse. Aunt Booker wouldn’t be happy with him, but who was?
With a groan, he stood and shuffled to the dresser – the only furniture in the room other than his sleep pad. He took out the neatly folded shirt and pants from their respective stacks and put them on. While he buttoned his shirt – a routine he performed slowly on purpose – he stared out the window. The suns were up already – the amber was even near peak. It was going to be a hot day. With luck, he wouldn’t have to be out in it.
Far below, the town of Providence bristled with work. Past that lay the sea – glittering blue for the most part, but beyond the reef, the water was murky, almost black. The skylers called it dark water. The worst fate for a skyler was to have their ship fall out of the sky over a patch of it. It was about the only thing nobody pretended to be brave about.
Aunt Booker’s voice hollered from downstairs. “You done buttoning your shirt yet, Haggie?”
How did she always know?
Hagai's Aunt tutted quietly to herself, and pushed one foot against the ground to set her wooden rocker back in motion. She turned back to her book: ...eager not to endure another tongue-lashing, he bustled out of the room half-dressed. With only one leg safely in his pants, he got the other one caught up and crashed to the floor...
Aunt Booker shook her head in exasperation and pushed herself to standing when she heard the thud.
Opening: Adam Heine.....Continuation: anon.