TITLE: Satellite Hearts
GENRE: YA Sci-Fi Thriller
Sunday carries a static silence in our home, punctuated by Mama’s praying; always in the lounge as though it’s a mihrab pointing to God. Praying won’t save me Mama.
At precisely 05:00a.m, in three hours’ time, an Isigijimi messenger is to escort me to a new location. The transport papers indicate there will be a team four people to transfer me. A lot of man power for a sixteen-year-old. The Isigijimi is to disclose nothing, touch me or even stare at me. That’s how they’re designed: sexless, pulseless and programmed.
My heart knocks a marimba beat when I hear Mama shift in the lounge. I squeeze myself through a crack in the corrugated sheeting that forms the wall of our home, making sure that it makes no noise. Outside, I can still hear Mama’s soft voice praying. I stare at the compound of Old Naledi: rusty shacks, unpaved grounds littered with broken glass, fizzy drink cans, plastics and trees. My childhood prison, where Mama will remain alone once I’m gone. A few minutes left to decide my freedom: I choose to leave. I’m sorry Mama, to be another death in the family.
I run four huts down from mine—old, scraggy and made from scrappy sheet iron— along the Old Naledi fence, my hand scraping the diamond wire. I strain my eyes to follow the fence—shaking in the breeze—as it rises towards the deep crimson sky: the time when the sun begins to bleed.