TITLE: THE STOLEN ONES
GENRE: YA SF
I realized my mistake when I came through the door. My mother was pacing around our small hut, her hands clutched to her chest, her dark curls pulled back haphazardly from her face, and her brown eyes nearly frantic with worry.
I opened my mouth to greet her but the look she turned on me was such mix of anxiety and relief that the words died in my throat. She was the only one I knew with that could shut me up with just a look, and I didn’t comment as I quickly shut the door behind me. Not that I blamed her for being afraid – when people went missing around here, they went missing for good. I cursed myself for being selfish and making her worry; I could have found time to get clean on another day.
Taking the extra time to go through the ruins to bathe had been a bad idea but I’d been sick of being dirty. And there had been hovers in the skies; I hadn’t wanted to be caught in the ruins – it being forbidden and all – so I’d had to hide in nearly every doorway to avoid detection.
“Abigail –” she said shrilly.
I took her hands to stop her pacing and smiled. “Mama, I was just bathing. I got the laundry done and I thought I’d take the opportunity to get clean.” I thanked the gods that I hadn’t taken my time getting home.