TITLE: FADE AWAY
GENRE: YA Science Fiction
To avoid an arranged marriage based on genetics and required participation in an experiment to explain why humanity’s birthrate came to a sudden, screeching halt, 16-year-old Cadi escapes and is forced to rely on family she barely knows to evade recapture.
“I can’t take your car,” I whisper as I stare at him. “You love it. Dad said it’s your prized possession.”
“Possessions don’t mean anything compared to family,” Grandpa says firmly. “Just think of it as 16 years of missed birthdays and Christmas’s. It’s yours now.”
He nods at Jack and I feel tears sting the corner of my eyes. “Teach her to drive it,” he orders. “Safely,” he cautions. “I’d teach Cadi myself, but we don’t have time. So it’s up to you.”
“Yes sir,” Jack says solemnly.
“It’s old enough that it’s not registered, so it should be discreet,” Grandpa continues, but I can barely hear him. I just stare at this person I hardly know, that I’d never even thought of before yesterday, but who has clearly thought of me for years. I imagine him on holidays with my parents; considering the fact that I was missed, without knowing I was even thought of.
Still unable to speak, instead I close the distance between myself and my grandfather and throw my arms around him. He hugs me back tightly. He smells like wood and some kind of spice. I bury my face in his soft, worn shirt.
“Thank you,” I finally choke out as tears streak down my cheeks.
“Hey now,” Grandpa replies, patting my back. “None of that. You’re my granddaughter, I’d help you build a bridge to the moon if you wanted one. Don’t thank me. I should have broken you out years ago.”