We're back in the Icarus universe today with a story set about a year before "Warning Tremors" and roughly twenty-one years before "Icarus Awakens."
The house wasn’t the same to her anymore. After a couple years living in a residential dome, the modest home her parent’s now lived in felt ostentatious. She felt an odd sense of unease being under the open sky and feeling the breeze ruffle her hair.
Ihsan felt a tug and looked down to see Pyrrha’s big brown eyes turned up to her. Soft, black curls bounced as Pyrrha tried to tug her tiny hand out of her mother’s. She pointed to the little Pomeranian that’d run out of the doggy door as their uber pulled up.
Chuckling, Ihsan let go of Pyrrha’s hand. The toddler ran across the soft, green grass. Her giggles blended with the pup’s excited yelps.
“Gentle, Pyrrha,” Ihsan called after her daughter.
“They aren’t going to bite, you know,” Joseph teased as he came up beside her.
The uber’s engine rumbled to life behind them, and it pulled away from the curb.
Ihsan rolled her eyes, and Joseph grinned. He shifted his grip on their bags, bringing her attention to the fact he was loaded down with both of them. She pulled the strap for Pyrrha’s bag off his shoulder, ignoring the flash of irritation in his expression. Slinging the strap over her head, Ihsan started up the lawn.
Her parents’ door opened, and her mother walked out calling to Pyrrha. Ihsan smiled as she watched Pyrrha bounce into her grandmother’s arms. Her mother lifted Pyrrha up and squeezed her tight, burying her nose in the child’s soft ringlets. Pyrrha, two-year-old ball of energy that she was, started squirming to be let back down to run seconds later.
Ihsan’s mother let Pyrrha down to run. She was off and running around the lawn again without looking back. Pyrrha never saw the disappointed frown her grandmother wore for a moment, but Ihsan did. It disappeared as her mother turned to greet her youngest daughter and son-in-law, replaced by a polite smile.
“Hello, Maman,” Ihsan said as she hugged her mother.
“It’s about time you two came back to civilization,” Maman said when she pulled back. She waved them into the house. “Go put your bags away. I’ll watch over Pyrrha as she plays. She’s too pale.”
Ihsan sighed as the door closed. She started trudging up the stairs toward the guestroom.
“You know she means well,” Joseph said, following behind.
“I know.” Ihsan pushed the door to the guestroom open, and sat the bag down at the foot of the bed before dropping onto it. “I just wish we could do something right in her and Baba’s eyes.”
“They worry,” Joseph answered.
Ihsan felt the bed dip as he sat beside her. She turned her head to look up at her husband. Sunlight streamed through the window, backlighting him and obscuring his face in shadow. He ran the back of his hand down her arm before lacing his fingers with hers.
“Can you blame them after Athens lost that aeroponics dome?”
Each story in this series is 500 words or less and is prompted by a first line taken either from a random first line generator like this one or reader suggestions like "Don't Forget Me." I much prefer working from reader suggestions over generators, but to do that, I need to hear from you.
If you have a prompt you'd like to see done, comment below, send it to my Tumblr asks, Tweet it at me, or leave a comment on any of the audio stories from this series. I'll screen shot it, write it, and post it for you.
A. B. England is a small business owner, mom of two, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves mythology, fantasy, and all flavors of science fiction.
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