It's still dark in Sector 5.
"...where life is wonderful, with low pollution and jobs for everyone..." blabbed the screen. Katie turned the unit off. What a joke, she thought. Sure, you could get a job... if you didn't mind slinging hash at the local greasy spoon, or cleaning toilets at the factory. What was the point of high school if all you were going to do for the rest of your life was make minimum wage and come home exhausted, too tired to care about dinner, fall asleep in front if the nonsense box and do it all over again?
Her mom was a dreamer, always thinking something better would come along. Well surprise, surprise, mom, it's been 17 years since I was born and NOTHING better has come along! Forget dreams, Katie thought, what I need is plans...plans to get out... She had woken at 4am, her mind furiously scheming weird, impossible schemes, and couldn't get back to sleep. Since then she had been trying to work on a plan, but her mind was wandering more into the past than the future.
The sun was coming up now, and her mother would be up soon. She turned the unit back on. If her mother found her brooding it would mean a fanciful pep talk about new hope and new horizons, never easy to listen at the best of times. She even turned the coffee maker on. Might as well start Saturday out on a good note, Katie thought. Give her mom her morning coffee, see her off to work and see what she could make of the day.
One thing was sure, she wouldn't be hanging around the house all day. Katie almost laughed at that - house! Great euphemism for the last trailer at the end of the power line. (Thanks, high school English, the only place I can use the word 'euphemism is inside my own head!)
The end of the line indeed. And pretty much the end of the lane, except for Mr Palmer, the old crank at the actual end of Dragonfly Lane. Sometimes Katie wondered where his power came from. Probably makes biofuel from all the dog excrement on the street, she thought darkly. Until she went to school she had thought she lived on Dirt Street. Good joke, mom.
Reason number one to get away from home today was Mrs Jordan next door. Katie thought that if she smelled llama stew one more time she really would turn vegetarian, even if it meant boiling dandelions for soup.
Katie looked out to the hill, not encouraged by the look of the sky.
And sure enough, a few minutes later, it started to rain.
This was shaping up to be a red letter Saturday...