by Rati Mehrotra
read by Mahvesh Murad
First published in Abyss & Apex, Issue 52: 4th Quarter 2014
Friday was the last good day. On Saturday the hunters came and by Tuesday Mira was gone, swallowed in the maw of the crowd fleeing Chandipur.
Mira my older sister, the normal one. I look up at the stars glittering in the sky and pray that she is safe.
Why did they come? Chandipur is as far as it gets from the heart of the New World. Perhaps the capital wants to stamp out the border communities, make sure that the taint of the old blood never spreads. The taint I’ve lived with all my life.
I used to think I had it bad before. But I swear if I could turn back time, I’d keep it Friday forever. We’d go to school, someone would trip me up in the hallway, and the others would laugh. I’d sit alone during class, as usual. Nobody would die.
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Rated R for violence and hearts suddenly appearing where they shouldn’t be.
Rati Mehrotra is a Toronto-based speculative fiction writer whose short stories have appeared in AE – The Canadian Science Fiction Review, Apex Magazine, Urban Fantasy Magazine, and many more. Her debut novel “Markswoman” is about an order of magical-knife-wielding lady assassins in a post-apocalyptic, alternative version of Asia. It will be published in early 2018 by Harper Voyager. You can follow Rati on Twitter @Rati_Mehrotra, and at her website http://ratiwrites.com/.
Mahvesh Murad is a reviewer, editor, rogue voice for hire and recovering radio show host from Karachi, Pakistan. She has written for Dawn’s Books & Authors, Tor.com, Strange Horizons and Pornokitsch.com, and is the editor of the Apex Book of World SF 4 (2015), co-editor of upcoming Jinnthology (2017). She hosts the weekly interview podcast Midnight in Karachi, published weekly on Tor.com.