An excerpt from the novel I’m currently writing. It’ll be a sequel to DTA (Department of Temporal Adjustment), but can be read as a stand-alone.
So on we trudged, the sound of our footsteps punctuated by gentle baby snores. My daughters shuffled along at my side, too afraid to make a sound and shoulders hunched in fear. They were true products of their culture—little mice, scared to do more than scramble for cover at the first sign of danger.
We passed a group of boys wrestling on the ground like a squirmy pile of puppies. To me it was obvious they were entertaining themselves as they waited for the school bus, but my daughters cringed and scurried away, intimidated by this public display of rambunctiousness.
Several blocks later we came across a second group of boys, also waiting for a bus. But instead of wrestling these boys had chosen to kick a soccer ball around. It got away from one of the boys and rolled over to Maddie, who kicked it back without thinking. The boys gave
her a wave and continued to practice passes.
I nearly laughed aloud when I noticed the expression on Maddie’s face. It was strange combination of fear and wonder, and I knew it was brought on by her realization that she had just interacted with boys, and interacted as an equal. My daughters had been raised in a world where men ruled and women obeyed. Equality was not something they had ever thought about.
But I thought about it. A lot. As soon as those crazy, extra memories swirled into my head I began to mourn what had been lost to the world. So much potential—the intelligence and creativity of more than half the population—discarded like so much trash.
What a waste!
It didn’t need to be this way. It was wrong, all wrong. The world was broken, and no one even knew it.