GENRE: YA Sci-fi Romance
Cerine belongs to a genetically engineered species of sea women, living in post-apocalyptic times. She, her mother, and a young woman are conversing in their underwater village.
Cerene swam up behind her mother, listening to the murmured exchanges between the women.
“No snook today?” Raissa, a silver-haired woman asked.
Her mother shook her head. “Not today, chéri.”
Now in her year of training, Cerine knew the snook were difficult to catch. They were ever cautious about approaching bait, much more so than many of the other fish species they hunted.
“But I know you enjoy kelp,” Alyse said, handing the woman a large bundle. Alyse’s other hand rested on her protruding belly.
“When will your baby join us?” Cerine asked the young woman.
“Mid-October.” Alyse smiled in that way expectant mothers so often did when speaking of their unborn child. “Her name will be Mae.”
“It’s a lovely name,” Cerine said. “And I’m sure she’ll have your beautiful golden hair.”
Alyse’s smiled broadened. “I hope so. My firstborn was a red-head, but you probably know that.” She nodded toward a group of younger girls playing catch-the-conch in the distance. Waving locks of auburn framed the face of Alyse’s daughter. Cerine remembered the girl, though she couldn’t recall her name off-hand.
“Isn’t it wonderful she’s having two?” Cerine’s mother interjected, handing another sea woman two cod. “I wish I could have, but. . .”
Thérèse didn’t finish, but Cerine knew the story. The second embryo hadn’t taken and Queen Genevieve didn’t allow additional chances. Embryos were as precious as diamonds had once been on land. Probably more so. Without them, the sea women would cease to exist. Their small community would dwindle into nothingness, becoming merely an insignificant blip in the history of the earth.
“Just a few more years, and it will be your turn,” Alyse reminded Cerine.
Cerine tried produce the appropriate pleased expression, but her face wouldn’t cooperate.