GENRE: Science Fiction
Absolute dark spooked her, always had. MiKayla forced her gaze away from the black night beyond the screen-covered window and back to the bare room with four narrow beds. Only one was in use--hers. After a moment of concentration she clamped down her mind-sensing. She did not want to connect with any minds, outside or inside. Not yet.
She sat up, pushed her hair from her face. The thin blanket bunched around her waist. A trace of light glowed from her open suitcase where she'd slipped a battery-powered nightlight when Mom wasn't looking. One piece of luggage, that's all she'd been allowed. No books. No electronics of any kind. Not even a clock to check the time.
The moon should be visible here at the equator like in northern Nakbe. A sliver of moon shed some light. She glanced out the window. But why expect outside lights in unsettled, forested flatland?
A loud hoot echoed through the window and she jumped.
Screeches, clicks, chattering and other strident noises started up. She rubbed at the goosebumps on her bare arms. Maybe the huge trees she'd seen when they'd flown to this waystation last night cut off the moonlight. Flatland, dense with immense trees-- What work would people find here?
She sighed. Enough of questioning the unknown. Had she slept? She sent her awareness inward to check. Not tired, not sleepy, must be early morning, before suns-rise.
And her thirteenth birthday.
The day she'd anticipated and dreaded all year.