Hecatomb 3019 – Callum Colback

Faint bubbling from the tubes in Carly’s nose was the only sound in the care home room. Helen stroked her sisters’ hair and gazed out the window at the city street. Magnetic Levitation, or MagLev, orbs zipped along the Admanium metal road, their drivers scrolling dataslates or talking into the screens built into their arms. Brilliant white buildings stood tall on the other side of it, advertisements projected onto their smooth surfaces in garish colours. One for a new protein square flashed up and Helen looked away, swallowed her anger at the fact thousands would be compelled to rush out and buy it right now. Her grey eyes flicked to the scar between Carly’s ribs, visible where her gown had fallen open on a breeze from the ajar window. Sweet scents drifted in with it, pumped from fans on the street, several levels below.

“I thought there would be a sense of relief,” Helen said, “having finally told someone. I was expecting a weight to be lifted. Amazing how naïve I can still be after all this time.”

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