TITLE: PRINCE OF SIROCCO
GENRE: YA Science Fiction
That cracking bot was following me.
I careened around the long marble corridor that led to my father’s wing of the palace. Shadows cloaked the long hall and would until Sirocco’s red sun rose at midday, beginning the planet’s fifteen-day cycle. Most palace activity wouldn’t begin for another hour, which meant one hour for me to get in and get out. If only I could avoid running into more bots.
A thin curtain, embroidered with the dark overlapping triangles of Sirocco, separated the King’s private wing from the rest of the palace. The smooth silk slid along my arm as I pushed it aside, glancing back to make sure I’d lost the bot.
Movement in front of me made me stop, but this time it wasn’t a bot programmed to report my whereabouts. I cleared my throat, straightened to my full height, and smiled at the tall guard standing in front of me.
“Oh, heeeeey,” I said. Didn’t want to point any fingers, but it looked like he’d been sleeping.
“What… what are you doing here?” The young guard gripped the ceremonial staff he’d been given, as if that would grant him more confidence. It didn’t work.
“Well, I live here,” I answered, glancing around to see if any other guards or bots were hiding in the shadowed corners. “But now I’m going this way.”
“Uh, wait, High Prince Cyrus…” But whatever else the guard was going to say was lost as I ducked around him.