No Content Warnings for this Chapter!
(…i was looking at you)
The light fell softly through the curtains onto a young woman’s face, illuminating the small room where her bed sat. The unfitted sheet had crept off the corners of the mattress and now sat messily, held in place by the weight of her body. Bunched up in a ball at her feet lay her blanket, which had been clutched tight during the mild night chill and thoughtlessly cast off as the early heat warmed the room. Slowly, like a cat looking at something it loves, Angela’s eyes blinked open, transfixed on the calendar on her wall.
For a second, she prepared to sink deep back into slumber with the knowledge that it remained the weekend. Then, with a start, she remembered which particular Saturday it was, and with great effort, drew herself out of bed.
For weeks, Angela had been repeating to herself that June 17th, 2090, was moving day. Her mother had insisted she use a didzifono to keep track, but she stubbornly refused. Since her twenty first birthday, nearly a month ago, Angela had sworn off her phone completely, and shockingly, she had managed to stick to it. Her father was proud of her for it, though she suspected he would be less proud if he knew why.
Pulling on jeans and a vintage t-shirt with the words “People Over Profit” printed on the front in a bold hippie font, she grabbed her yellow backpack and bid her succulents farewell. She made her way downstairs to find her parents waiting for her in the kitchen.
“Good morning!” Her father smiled at her with tears on the edges of his eyes.
“O, Woban,” her mother said, barely looking up from her phone.
“Oh, hey,” Angela cringed a little at both reactions, “Uh, you make coffee yet?”
“Oh yeah, no, not yet,” stuttered her father. Angela grabbed a bag of Wakalapi coffee grounds, and set up the coffee maker. She poured half a cup of coffee, then filled it the remainder of the way with cream and sugar.
“Jesus, how do you drink it like that?” her mother rolled her eyes at her.
“Holy shit, Amy, you said that in English!” Angela retorted, eyes wide in sarcastic surprise.
Introducing Amaks, or American Auxiliary, to the Abbott-Ashton household had become her mother’s pet project as of late. The Former United States Reconstruction Accord had begun the creation of a shared North American language back in 2081, as part of its thirteenth triannual plan. Amy, a professor of linguistics, had jumped at the opportunity to help create it. The language had turned out to mostly use Spanish grammar rules, English phonology, and drew vocabulary from a variety of indigenous and world languages.
The idea of an Auxiliary Language drew plenty of critics. Many didn’t see the point, with English already being the lingua franca in most of the Former US anyway. Others feared it could be used for authoritarian purposes, comparing it to Orwellian Newspeak. These comparisons did not fail to recognize the fact that after three years of development, the official year for the implementation of Amaks was 2084. Others still, feared that it would kill the natural languages of the continent. The committee actually addressed that one, and Amy and her team made sure that the implementation of the language would not endanger any others. That didn’t change the fact that most people just didn’t particularly want to learn a new language.
“Hey, limit the expletives,” Angela’s mother replied.
“And don’t call her Amy! That’s your Mother,” her father chimed in.
“Okay, okay, I don’t wanna fight! Not today at least,” Angela sighed.
At that, her father broke into tears.
The Emerald Line was a high-speed rail track running from Boston to Montreal, and it passed straight through Montpelier. As the family of three shuffled their way into Sanders Station, the Vermont air was warm, but crisp and breathable. It was smaller than many train stations Angela had seen, and somehow weirder. The style seemed to intentionally mirror of a major 1800s train station, which in turn aimed to recreate a classical style. This mimicry of a mimicry, coupled with hyper-modern information screens and train design would have made for an alien scene if Angela wasn’t already familiar with it.
At 11:00 on the dot, the Southbound train swept into the station and came to a silent halt. Angela turned, and her father swept her into a hug that lifted her off the ground. She was taller than him, so she had to bend her knees, but feeling his arms holding her up made the memories of the safety of childhood come rushing into her mind. Her mother gave her a small smile, and a much lighter hug.
“Do great things, Angela.”
“I will,” Angela grinned.
“Are you sure you have everything you need?” her father asked, “I can’t believe you aren’t bringing any luggage.”
“Well, like, I have my phone and toothbrush in my bag, and all the essentials. I don’t really need much stuff, and I’m sure Taylor will have anything I need at his place.”
Angela turned to go, then turned back and blew her parents a kiss, before making her way onto the train.
She wasn’t sure what came over her, but as soon as she took a seat, she unzipped her backpack and pulled out her phone. She opened it to hundreds of notifications, all neatly organized and ordered by urgency by the phone’s AI. Bird’s voicemail, sent the day after her birthday, was front and center. Angela wanted to vomit. In an attempt to procrastinate listening to it as long as possible, she opened the camera, and made checked her appearance.
Angela knew she was pretty. She loved her deep auburn eyes, and she liked the way her black hair fell in a pony tail. She had grown to appreciate how you could see her quarter-Asian heritage in her features. She wore no makeup today, because though she often did, on important days she made it a point to avoid it. This was a habit she had picked up from her mother, but she never really understood why she did it.
Angela set her phone down and sighed before picking it back up. She still had a 40 minute train ride ahead of her, and she knew she couldn’t put it off any longer.
Hey there! I hope you enjoyed the first chapter of “When The Sun Came Up.” My name’s Liv, and I’m not a writer at all, but I’ve been meaning to start. This is going to be pretty much unedited, somewhat low effort writing.
This story is heavily inspired by Solarpunk aesthetics, and my personal fantasy of what a better future might look like, so it’s definitely just gonna be a bit of escapism for me.
Chapters will be posted very inconsistently and maybe sparsely, and if no one expresses interest in this, I may just give up on it (this is not to guilt anyone into being interested, but if I lose interest and no one else gets value out of it I won’t feel bad quitting)
Most of this story will likely focus on Angela, but there will certainly be other POVs both outside and inside of Boston just to get a wider feel for the world.
In the future, there MAY be some sexually explicit chapters (though there will be none involving Angela) They will not be important to the plot so feel free to skip them if you don’t want to read porn.
If you have any feedback, questions, or comments on this work, feel free to text me (I’m pretty sure everyone on this site has my number) or post a blog response? I’d really love to hear your thoughts, and I’d honestly take any excuse to talk a bit about this world.