“Are you ready to share those details, darling girl?”
Jovana nodded her head, and Fransica led them to the benches on the porch. As they sat together, she poured tea for them both and waited.
Jovana gathered herself and stared out toward the hills in the distance. The vegetation was lush and green, birds were singing merrily, and the gentle breezes of the wind seemed to stop time.
“Our small village was in the north, eking out a living as travel guides, local craftsmen, and jewelry artisans with our abundant supply of amethyst quartz. My father was a guide people asked for by name and knew all the best places for hikers and campers. He took me on long hikes a few times and the survival skills he taught me helped me survive as long as I did after I escaped. These men came and overran our village and herded us, along with several surrounding villages in the area, to a secluded compound patrolled by drones. Everything we said or did was monitored.” Sipping her tea, she took a breath and continued.
“One by one people died from starvation, trying to escape, or hanging on until those potential avenues of rebellion were removed while we slept. It was awful and scary. When food was so scarce that my parents and I shared a stale piece of bread per day along with a handful of berries, I nearly gave up. I was going to tell my parents I was leaving when I found them…”
Fransica gave Jovana a reassuring squeeze and then sipped her tea while she waited.
Jovana stared at the boards below her feet, almost in shame. “They were both dead. Holding hands, but dead. I found a note they had scrawled that they wanted me to have it all as I was their future. But they had no future. They were dead.”
“I know they loved you very much, Jovana, to give up all for you. It is what parents do for their precious babies.”
“That evening my friends created a diversion further enhanced by a loud storm, and I escaped through the latrines. It was disgusting, and I kept thinking those drones would follow, but I have seen nothing of them. Should I be afraid still?”
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish