Brown vines dried and crumbled along the village Refojee-Ten’s edges. Everything thirsted for the impending rainy season: the dry jungle, the hard-packed dirt roads winding through the village, the two wells, and the drooping emerald ears of corn.Link
Wiry elders sat hunched over rickety tables outside playing cards, their eyes scanning the late-afternoon sky as they shuffled and dealt. In the distance over the green fringe of the treetops, the hazy Wicked High Mountains cut and shredded dark clouds, forcing them to release sheets of rain several days’ walk away from Refojee-Ten. The elders flicked their cards, flashed their gums, and licked lips as they eyed the pictures in their cal- loused hands.
Rainy season tugged at their joints. It made them feel older, creakier, and yet thankful life was about to return because soon the jungle air blowing into the streets would be wet, the roads muddy, and the corn so fresh you could hear it grow at night in the fields.
Yes, rainy season would burst in any day now.
So no one jumped when the thunder cracked the sky. They looked up and nodded, wise to the land’s regular cycle proving itself for yet another year, as it had all the many years of their lives before.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.