by Krystal Claxton
Tragically born with a mis-calibrated sense of humor, Krystal Claxton lived in nine US states before the age of thirteen. The combination of the two has left her with an oscillating accent and a habit of laughing at things that aren’t funny. She currently lives in Georgia with her long-suffering spouse, a dog who thinks she’s a cat, and a number of children that is subject to change. She enjoys breaking Heinlein’s Rules, getting distracted by Dragon Con, and feverishly researching whichever random topic has just piqued her interest. Keep up with her at krystalclaxton.com and on twitter @krystalclaxton.
“I don’t understand why you’re doing this.” Valeria spoke in hushed tones, though no one other than Nolan was within earshot.
“Because I can.” Nolan’s fingers worked against the cuff on his wrist with a slim metal splinter.
“Nolan, please can we talk about this? Just wait a moment.” She glanced around the park. Beyond the walkway, short trees basked in the artificial light of the dome.
The cuff was a gift from the Overseers, one of many they had bestowed upon humanity since the Fall. It provided everyone with instructions and guidance. Her fingers nervously traced the intricate filigree of her own cuff. She remembered her tenth birthday, when she’d been blessed with the title of Wife and Nolan’s name had appeared in delicate scroll.
For seven years they’d shared the room in her mother’s house, and in all those years he’d been a perfect Husband. Had defended her virtue, honored her mother, comforted her fears. In just a few more days she would finally be old enough for the title of Mother, and all of his patience would be rewarded. She had been excited for that day, nervous, but excited.
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