AUTHOR: M. Darusha Wehm
NARRATOR: Megan Leigh
HOST: Divya Breed
- Home Sick originally appeared in Use Only As Directed, Edwina Harvey and Simon Petrie eds., Peggy Bright Books (Australia) in 2014.
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about the author . . .
Darusha writes science fiction and speculative poetry as M. Darusha Wehm and mainstream poetry and fiction as Darusha Wehm. Science fiction books include: Beautiful Red, Children of Arkadia and the Andersson Dexter cyberpunk detective series. Mainstream books include the Devi Jones’ Locker Young Adult series and The Home for Wayward Parrots (forthcoming from NeWest Press).
Darusha’s short fiction and poetry have appeared in many venues, including Arsenika, Nature, Escape Pod, and several anthologies.
Darusha is originally from Canada but currently lives in Wellington, New Zealand after spending the past several years sailing the Pacific.
about the narrator . . .
Megan Leigh is editor of pop culture blog Pop Verse and co-host of feminist speculative fiction podcast Breaking the Glass Slipper.
Her writing has appeared on SWFA, SFF World, Pornokitsch, and Writers’ Workshop.
By M. Darusha Wehm
I was encoding a batch of classic ebooks when the ulu-aliki walked in to the library, the outdoors scent of gardenias and overripe mangoes following him. “Afternoon, chief,” I said, pushing my chair back a bit. Joseph Seru spoke Tuvaluan with his family and the other council members, but his English was so much better than my Tuvaluan would ever be. Besides, even though less than ten percent of us were Aussies or Kiwis, the official language on the SPIT was English.
“Hey ya, Sally,” he answered, lacking his usually jovial demeanour.
“You looking for something in particular?” I asked. The island’s chief was a voracious reader and a bit of a film buff. I usually gave him first crack at the new titles I managed to snag off the satellite internet connection.
“Sort of,” he said, the last remains of his smile disappearing. “You, I guess.”
I frowned. “What’s up, chief?” I asked.
“I’ve got something for the blog.”
I watched as he pulled a chair from one of the tables and sat it down across from my desk. He knew me well enough to leave a decent space between the chair and the desk.
As the island’s librarian, I had also become the de facto editor of the closest thing to a news source we had — the Spitball, the island’s blog. There were about a dozen regular contributors, most of the posts being the weekly scores for the football, kilikiti and ano matches. But things did occasionally happen on the SPIT, and we reported on them all. According to the stats, there were even a handful of people off island who regularly read the thing.
“What’s going on?” I asked again, opening up a text editor on the laptop so I could take notes.
“The bastards finally figured out how to make a buck from us, that’s what’s going on.” Seru usually looked for the positive, but he sounded more like the bitter old fisherman who posted screeds about how overseas politicians screwed us all. I raised an eyebrow and the chief continued. (Continue Reading…)