Hello and welcome to part 1 of Three Keys in the Desert, my science fiction novella. Over the course of June 2017 I posted the entire thing on my website! To read the 26 parts of the story just scroll down and start below.
7 days until Transfer Day
Kim’s clothes clung to his skin, soaked with sweat. His head pounded from the heat.
He forced himself to walk faster. He’d walked home once before in daylight, years ago, discharged early from the infirmary with a fractured arm, but the painkillers had made everything a blur. He didn’t remember the heat pressing down on him, or the ground under his boots being this shade of yellow.
The shaded entrance to his building got closer, until finally he stood on cool, hard cement. There were no temperature adjustment systems in the district, the only place with electricity was the Compound, but still the peeling, gray walls of the lobby felt like a cool breath compared to being outside.
Kim paused before going up the stairs to the second floor. Supposedly “some woman” was waiting for him in his room. The kid who’d delivered the message couldn’t give Kim any more details, but it was pretty obvious this was one of Sol’s games. She wasn’t usually sober enough for something so elaborate, but once in a while she was known to make an exception. The only surprising thing was that she’d chosen the district to deal with him, in the middle of the day, when everyone was at the Compound.
On the second floor, the door to Kim’s room was slightly ajar. Of course she’d want to do it here, where he slept. Sol was never short on imagination when she wanted to torture people. At least none of his friends would be here to see it.
He braced himself before pushing the door open.