A flash fiction piece in preparation for the novel-in-progress Ellipsis: Annie and the Second Anasazi, by Jeff Posey, set in the year 2054. Sign up for notification by email here.
“There’s a lot I don’t understand,” said Annie, looking at Serles. She met him just moments ago when the whole force of Reagan Newcastle turned upon them like a guided missile, but she couldn’t wait.
“I don’t understand it all, either,” said Serles. He pulled two wide cases from the back of his truck and walked with them like heavy suitcases while men and women unloaded a long trailer. They sent everything down the evacuation tubes, but Serles walked out toward the open desert.
“Where are you going?” Annie asked.
“There isn’t time,” he said, turning his head back to throw his voice to her without turning around.
She ran after him. “Wait.”
He stopped. “Go back, Annie. Go down the evac tube.”
“They’ll be here any minute. I’ve got to get these set up.” He hoisted his suitcases.
“I’ll help you.”
“I can do it alone. There’s no reason to risk you, so go back.”
He glared at her. She’d only just met him and he looked at her as if he might slap her if he had a hand available.
“Fine,” he said. “Get yourself killed. Your father will like that.”
“My father’s dead.” She knew the moment she said it that Serles didn’t know. His shoulders sagged. “I thought you knew.”
“I knew he disappeared. I knew they were hunting for you.” He shook his head, then began hurrying toward the desert floor.
She followed him.
“Who did it?” Serles asked.
“The one called Zoop.”
Serles nodded. He sat down one of the cases. “There’s a cable in there,” he said. “We need to connect to this other one across the valley.”
Annie knelt and snapped two buckles that freed the housing and exposed a coil of cable atop a box with switches. “What is this?”
“Resonance impulse device. If they’ve used any of our nanocarbon structures, this will vaporize them.”
“How close do they have to get?”
Serles pressed his lips together ad scowled. “We don’t know exactly. It’s still kind of in the testing stage.”
“So it might not work.”
“No. It might not work. That’s why I’d rather you go down the evac tubes.“
“They killed my mother, too,” Annie said, hefting the coil of cable of her shoulder.
For the first time, Serles looked at her in what felt like compassion. Or understanding. Maybe sorrow. In the distance, the beat of helicopter blades pounded up the valley.
“Let’s hurry,” he said.
She held his gaze a moment, the world crystal clear, even magnified. “Yes. hurry.”
Ellipsis: Annie and the Second Anasazi, set in 2054 A.D., is about a migration of intellectuals into the deserts of New Mexico where people live like the ancient ones because of changing climate coupled with an intolerable mix of politics and religion that rises in the cities of the American South. Annie is the daughter of Tucker and Lydia Roth of the short story, Girl on a Rock. Serles is the ancestor of the character by the same name in The Pump Jack Potion.
Cover art for Ellipsis: Annie and the Second Anasazi is by Derek Murphy of Creativeindie Covers.