The following little sniper is a story that will most likely be a short moving forward of a quirky idea that popped in my mind. Hope you enjoy, and excuse any typos you may find. I haven’t edited (or rather, it’s hard to edit while writing on the phone.)
June, 2155, Winter
Sera pushed aside just enough of the dusty old curtain aside and eyed the vast spread of snow several feet deep. The street outside quiet. Cars stood where they had been parked for days, pressed down by the weight of the snow. The winters in Sydney were no longer what they used to be. Sera could swear that when she was a kid, they used to see the sun often, and it only snowed in the mountains. In fact, there was such a thing as going to the mountains to ski, and now, just the steep of ashtray Hills were enough of a ski trip. She eyed the few Aussies brace enough to take a walk outside. The sun kissed folks still getting used to plummeting temperatures, frozen car batteries, and cursing themselves that the old houses weren’t exactly designed to weather harsh winters in mind.
She eyed her watch. It was a little past midday. The dark gloom of the overcast sky made it look like dawn had just broken through. Her ride was late. Ridiculously late. ‘Ring Neph,’ she commanded into the air, and the low glow of led light flashed just under the surface of her wrist, and a ring tone sounded, eventually going to voicemail. She hung up without leaving a message.
‘Always bloody late!’ She mumbled under her breath, hoisting something heavy, yet invisible on her shoulder. She eyed the street once more. Her mother’s old but valid warning rang like a broken record in her mind. ‘You gotta keep on moving, Seraphim. Remember, always moving!’
Sera grabbed her duffle bag off the dusty floor and when the cost was fairly clear, stepped out onto the streets on Paddington, and headed for Oxford street. She had to get out of the city, and quick. Something kept making her senses tingle and that was never a good thing. As she quickened her pace as much as possible through knee deep snow, she pulled her faux-fur rimmed hood of her jacket further forward so it obstructed her face. Being spotted was the last thing she needed she thought as she passed a crude artist’s sketches her pretty mug on the crumbling renders of the tiny homes.
‘Text Neph, and tell him I’ll meet him at our next rendezvous point, 2 days time.’ She eyed the empty road and scurried faster, down hill towards the old Fox Studios, now abandoned and derelict. She would catch the next bus to Bondi and figure out how to disappear. The last thing she wanted was to go further into the city, which had now moved its hub further west, to a city that was once the second largest CBD in Sydney.
‘Turn to the radio, scan news bulletins. Keywords, Cupid,’ Sera rattled off quickly as she walked passed a lone figure on the street. She pretended to be coughing. The radio tuned in in her ear as the person nodded past her.
‘The dwindling number of cupids mean the worldwide human population is at a critical low. Birth rates have dropped overall, London with the highest record of 158 births in 2154. The World Health Organization has been keeping a tight lip regarding their Cupid breeding program reminiscent of the age old endangered animals breeding that was prevalent around the world in the last century. So far, the only statement they’ve released is that the program has had 30-100% fail rate, but the stats are increasing as they go, and promises a better mode of success in future breeding.’
Sera shook her head, and ended the transmission. ‘I’ve had enough.’ She ducked into a small nook between two townhouses and watched the space around her. No windows to see her. She grabbed for something on her back and as soon as she’d touched it, her beautiful rose-gold bow became visible. She brought it to the front and pulled at the string, pointing the bow up to the sky, and in it appears a silver arrow. ‘Please take me home!’ She begged, eyes closed a moment in prayer before releasing it. The arrow shot towards the sky, invisible once more. ‘Please take me home!’
A moment later, she heard the satisfying bang of a heavy door on its hinges, and a second later the nook where she stood was empty once more.