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The Story Teller's Tale

Page 3

Clare Rhoden

Only, see, one person grabs my daddy up in their arms and away they run. My daddy never knew if it was his mummy or his own daddy or his big brother or his own sister or cousin or what, or maybe just some other jumbled person from the tribe, he never knew. This person, and he always liked to think it was his mummy so I will call them that, this woman grabbed up her little boy and she ran and ran, away from the Ferals and even though there was nowhere safe on Broad Plain to go she kept running, and soon she got to a bad place that all the tribesfolk called the Pale City and she couldn’t go any further because she was shredded up quite bad. Yes, Daisy, the Pale City is where those last ugly beams of steel stick up above the waters of the Plain Ocean, where the last towers of the Conflagrationists got drowned in the big flood.

Anyway, the mummy ran up to the big metal gates, and screamed out to the things inside the Pale that she needed help. And as ever the big gates were closed fast and draped in cutthroat wire and guarded every hour, and the sentries asked her what was the matter and she just said, she gasped it out, she said, “Ferals. Please. The boy.”

Now, my daddy was never sure whether he remembered that bit with the words, or maybe it was something that he got told later, but he was sure that the person who brought him to the gates said those words. And the guards had no mind to let him in, because they could see that he was just a human boy, and they were mighty humachines, the last bionic community descended from the Conflagrationists, and they wanted all of the land and all of its resources to themselves and they didn’t care much about anybody else who might have survived the Conflagration.


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