TITLE: Under the Veil of Dawn
GENRE: YA Fantasy
The intense hunger cramps continued to gnaw at my empty stomach. They crept into the hollow insides of my body— silent and sly— during short moments in which I had finally given in to the sleep that I hadn’t had in weeks. I had fooled the yearning for a while by wrapping a cloth tight around my torso. I had almost convinced myself that I wasn’t hungry. Almost. Now, enraged at the deception, the hunger was back with a vengeance. It was useless to try and go back to sleep for the lands where dreamers went, were no longer open to me.
I glanced at the skeletal figure lying beside me. The scratchy blanket had slipped off her bony body and now lay in an untidy heap on the floor. I picked it up and gently pulled it over her cold shoulders. She rolled and formed a cocoon for herself in the blanket, sighing happily. I felt my lips part in a smile, echoing her short-lived contentment.
Creeping out of the room, I spared a final glance at my sleeping sister before stepping outside. I pulled the door behind me but despite my soft touch, it wailed as its rusted hinges creaked. Cringing, I began walking along the dirt road, past rows of corrugated iron and wooden shacks, towards the only well in our slum. From a distance, my home looked like a human bird’s nest but I loved it as it was. The crippling infrastructure was the framework of my life.