Flash: Armfield

Photo by Venti Views on Unsplash

Summertime in Armfield is what heaven wished it could be. The sun shines a little more gently than Sol, the air contains a bit more oxygen, the sky cloudless except for two hours in the afternoon bringing gentle rains, and the most amazing bit, not a single terraform engine in sight constantly forcing the planet back into the pattern for human existence with an entire industry dedicated to keeping it going. Armfield welcomed the first scouts to the last load of refuges from Earth before the Unified Planets collapsed back in 2914 without us needed to change a single thing.

We don’t know how many planets are still out there with people. The terraform engines had an expected lifespan of fifty years, and it’s been a hundred since the collapse. I brushed the melancholy thoughts away as I walk from my farm to the Mating Fair celebrating the day humans first set foot on Armfield. Crowds drawn from plantations from miles around push me to the edge of the ceramic-clay road. I lack the exuberance of youth to run in packs and the hereditary wealth of the first settlers giving them room as people parted to avoid being stepped on or run over by large horses and hovercarts.

My mother had been on the last ship out of Earth; I was lucky to be farming my own land.

A few of my neighbors waved greetings as they moved by. Jackson and Limer brought their hovercart alongside and offered me a ride, which I politely turned down. If I had to listen to them pitch to buy my property one more time, someone wouldn’t be making it back to their roofs tonight.

My favorite offer from them so far was becoming their mutual concubine and letting any of my children keep the money of the sale. By favorite, I mean I managed not to stab them through the eye.

(words 318, first published 9/30/22)

Market Day Series

  1. Market (8/27/2019)
  2. Armfield (5/30/2020)Not canon. Sometimes you start down a path and the story is just wrong. I kept at it and it didn’t get better. Going to try again though.
  3. Market Day Purchase (11/1/2020)This one worked MUCH better, expanding the original.