• H. M. L. Swann

Day 7: The Weather



300 Days of Writing

Day 7: The Weather

The tunnel was flooding, again.


“Get the children down to home base,” I said to a groundie. He was young but short, no more than four feet tall, his brown skin had an underground glow to it, a blueish-grey tinge from never seeing the sun. His eyes were huge, irises the size of quarters. “Go quick, you’ll be faster than me. I’ll deal with the leak.”


He didn’t linger any longer and took the hand of the nearest child, forming a chain link of groundie babes, navigating them deeper into their earthen home.


It had started with Ida. The flooding in New Orleans, then New York. The Christians claimed it was time to be saved. The scientists claimed it was Global Warming. And I claimed it was none of my business, and kept my head down.


I snorted a sour laugh and tied my sloppy dreads into a knot on top of my head. Using my hands, I scooped up clay and tried to patch the worn ceiling. I’d forgotten how old I was, but my muscles were still lean and tough from use and from the high protein diet of roaches and critters that burrowed this far down.


“Need help?”


Another groundie, couldn’t be more than twenty years old and he’d never seen the sky.


“Not here. Go on down and check on the school kids. They’ll need…”


“Reassurance?”


“Yes.” I smiled gratefully and watched him leave. I felt sad then. Sad that this boy had been born underground. Born to a flooded earth. A planet where the melted ice caps, rising seas, and thunderous storms drove us off our land, and deep inside it.


Water dripped on my forehead and I squinted back up at the ceiling, pressed my ear to it, and listened.


I listened to the waves and I thought I could hear a hint of the air.



Сайхан Бичээрэй!


H



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