Form B: For Circumstances Not Covered in Previous Sections [Fierce Family, Crossed Genres, 2014]. I am super honoured to once again be working with Crossed Genres, who do some excellent intersectional work in SFF.
Edith winds up her work day late; she steps out of the office when it’s still dark, but the sky is lightening to the east and once, she knows, there would have been bird song. Now there’s nothing but the hustle and bustle to get home before dawn. Edith hurries, but doesn’t rush. She has her umbrella, against the sun’s early rays; and she has some time.
She loves this part of the night. The slight dip in temperature before the dawn is less than it was fifty years previous, but it’s a dip all the same. There is traffic, but it’s dying down as late workers head home, and she can navigate the streets without bumping arms or risking crashing her umbrella in to someone else.
And there is her mother, waiting at the door. “You leave it so late,” she says, as she ushers Edith inside. “Why couldn’t you have a proper job, be a doctor like Sheryl?”
“And get stuck with shift work?”
“Better that than this push of paper.” Mama closes the door. “You think we still need to make claims now the end has come?”
Mama always likes making melodramatic pronouncements. It’s not the end, Edith knows. Life goes on.