Happy Thursday, everyone!
Regular visitors will notice the old website’s undergone a bit of a change. Spring cleaning, virtual style. I’m trying to make it easier for readers to find my stories, plus give everyone a head’s up when I’ve got new things coming out. The sub-categories under the Fiction tab are still under construction, but we’re getting there. Plus a lot of my older publications are getting snazzy new covers for the new editions, many of which are now in paperback as well as e-book. Changes, I tell you — changes!
In honor of all those changes — not to mention the return of Free Fiction Thursday — this week’s story is “Reboot,” a time-traveling science fiction tale. Enjoy!
Published by Thunder Valley Press
Copyright © 2013 by Annie Reed
“Are you going to miss it? Being a hero?”
I heard snickers and groans, pretty typical for a crowded classroom full of nine-year-olds. I’ve been in enough of them over the years to know. These days the desks are all molded plastic, clean-lined, ergonomic, not the knee-scraping wood and metal-framed contraptions I grew up with. The cafeteria smell’s gone, too; now it’s the smell of too many bodies crowded together in too small a space. Everything’s more crowded these days.
The girl who’d asked me the question, a pretty thing with braids in her auburn hair and shaved patches the size of my thumb on the sides of her skull—the newest thing in fashion, my granddaughter tells me—blushed a bit but managed to keep looking at me.
“Children!” That was the teacher, a harried woman whose face—lined around her mouth, weary shadows underneath her eyes—looked every one of her middle-aged sixty or so years.
“That’s okay, that’s okay,” I said. I held my hands up in a shushing gesture and the room quieted down. I smiled at the girl with the braids and naked strips of pink scalp. “It’s a legitimate question. Not the first time I’ve been asked, so don’t go getting embarrassed, no matter what these guys think.” I winked at her and she smiled back. I still had some of my old charm. At least it still seemed to work on nervous nine-year-old girls.
(read the rest of the story here)