GENRE: YA War/Dystopian
No lead-in should be necessary - this is the very beginning.
My feet grip the glass in the darkness, and my biceps burn like acid. Can't believe Steven and Elisabeth talked me into this. If I get back without some sorta serious injury, it'll be a goddamn miracle. It's prison at the least if I get caught--and worse, too, if my luck's as shit as usual.
I shouldn't've even entertained the idea. No one sneaks into the Glass City and gets back unscathed--especially not us Pewts, the lowest of the low. The City is gorgeous--we can see it from below, see it sitting smug on these glass stilts, like it's balanced on a forest of fat crystal straws. Beautiful, especially compared to the filth of the Sprawl.
I grit my teeth and haul myself up further, hugging myself to the glass. I'm strong, yeah, but this's ridiculous. The anchors--the stilts holding up the Glass City--are maybe four hundred feet tall, and the only tool I've got is a wide, flat strip of leather slung around the glass, to grip it better than my sweaty fingers could.
I look down and my throat yanks shut like the neck of a drawstring bag. If I fall, I'll die. There's no way I won't when I'm this high up--it's a dizzying, painful height that makes my head bang.
So I look back up and keep pulling. I'm pretty close. It's been a whole hour of climbing.
I thought the actual climbing part would be harder, to be honest. But it turns out there are scars and gouges in the glass from weather, which make good footholds.
I yank myself up and up, digging my feet into the cracks, cursing Elisabeth and Steven. I shoulda listened to Cory. He always has my best interests at heart--dammit, why didn't I listen?
I reach the top of the anchor. Time for the hard part.
The City is built on a disk of glass that sits on top of the anchors. It's at least as thick as I'm tall, and ten feet of packed dirt lies on top, tight wire mesh trapping it in. But tree roots erupt from the mesh, dangling down about a foot to my right. Up here, a foot's distance feels like half a mile, but I close my eyes and grapple for the closest root. As my fingers find the damp wood, I put weight on it, and it lurches. My eyes pop open. Dirt crumbles out from around the root, I let out a high whimper of fear--doesn't even sound like my voice--and my hands break into an uncontrollable sweat. Then, worst of all, the wind tears the corner of the leather strip outta my other hand. The downdrafts yank it from side to side, the material making a flapping noise. It curls and twists until it's out of sight, like it's waving goodbye.