From series, That Dystopia You Won’t Shut Up About.
Published in The Adroit Journal.
Morning on a mountain, brisk—the pinnacle of briskness—no fresher feeling ever before for the Libertarian’s Daughter, but she is alone when she expected not to be and her right arm is completely asleep. Her guide, a park ranger, left sometime during the night. The dirt of her camp site looks warm in the morning sun but is like ice to the touch. In it, there is an imprint of the ranger’s self-inflating sleeping mat: a sarcophagus shape.
She unbuttons and unzips her sleeping coat and tosses it aside. To wake her arm, she sits up and pushes it with her left hand. She waits for that buzzing pain to sing through her veins, pushing the arm around in circles, flipping it on the ground, dragging it through the dirt which should feel like ice but feels like nothing to this hand. She drags it through the imprint of the ranger’s mat making lines with her numb knuckles. She attempts to sign her name.
After a minute, it still won’t move, and she starts to get worried. She’s up and pacing. She torques left and right at her hips, slapping the arm across her body.
After another minute, she loses herself in panic.