Short Stories

Short Story: December Child

They call me December Child. I came here fifteen years ago. They say I was born on the darkest day when the sun barely shone. I remember nothing of my home—only the smell of Juniper trees and my mother watching the birds from the open doorway. That is my last memory of her. The last memory of mine to call my own.

Now, I’m a force. They say without me, thousands would die. I believe them. Heat pulses through my veins and the veins of my kind. When we release it to the system, we give electricity to our city, the new city; the cupola stays on, shielding us from the harsh rays of the suns. The fields are nourished because of us. I have seen this. They have shown me the land outside the space colony. It is dead. I, December Child born in the darkest hour, protect against destruction. You would think I would be proud, and for a long time, I was. They nurtured me to fully be who I am, teaching me, clothing me, and never letting me go hungry. I’m grateful for them, but lately, that faded image of my mother’s face follows me around.

Sometimes it in the face of my teachers. Sometimes it is exactly like mine. But then there are the days when I fully see her. The sadness in her eyes as the red and golden brown birds swoop over the porch. She must have known we would never see again.

They don’t tell me where I have come; from this planet or another? Maybe behind the endless sea of the scorched ground? Maybe there is another colony like ours, where there are birds and Juniper trees. I have searched the skies for the dancing silhouettes, but there is nothing but artificial clouds. Not any more. The arch is filled with smoke. The city is burning. And here I am, watching it go inside the tallest building, listening to the screams of people I was taught to love and protect. No more.

You must think less of me. I said I believe them, those who took me, but I never said I approved. Yet, this is not of my doing. Yes, I let my kind bring the cupola down. I did nothing to stop the fields from burning. And soon, I will burn along with them. My sisters and brothers begged me to come with them in a stolen ship. I cannot lie; I was tempted. But those eyes of hers won’t let me go. She gave me up to be here. All I have left is to wait for my death, while I search for the birds—maybe they will come for the December Child.

Thank you for reading! Have a lovely July day ❤

© K.A. Ashcomb

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