AUTHOR: Kristin Janz
NARRATOR: Ibba Armancas
HOST: Tina Connolly
- This story has not been published previously.
- Discuss on our forums.
- For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our Wikia
- Thank you for visiting us on Facebook and Twitter
about the author…
Kristin Janz is a Canadian speculative fiction writer who has lived in the Boston area since 1998. Her fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, On Spec, and Crowded Magazine, and she is a graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop.
My husband Donald S. Crankshaw and I have edited and are independently publishing an anthology of speculative fiction stories that engage with Christianity in some way–Christian characters, themes, or cosmology. Mysterion: Rediscovering the Mysteries of the Christian Faith will be available in both paperback and ebook in August of 2016, and includes stories by Nebula-nominated authors Beth Cato and Kenneth Schneyer.
about the narrator…
Raised by swordfighters and eastern European freedom fighters, Ibba Armancas is a writer-director currently based in Los Angeles. Her darkly comedic genre sensibilities are showcased in two webseries and a feature film forthcoming later this year. One day she will find time to make a website, but in the mean time you can follow her projects and adventures on twitter or instagram.
As Travelers in Sky Boats
by Kristin Janz
My sister blames the Travelers. Before they came, she says, we were content within the small world we knew. No one wondered what lay beyond the flat blue horizon where ocean met sky, or who journeyed between the stars. Children never complained that there was an easier way to mend fishing nets, that they did not like the taste of seaweed. Men did not abandon responsibilities to pursue the impossible fantasy of becoming Travelers themselves.
One rainy night, when both she and the water leaking through our roof were keeping me awake, I told her that she sounded like a Traveler when she spoke that way. Who was she–or they–to tell me how I should live, what I could know or not know?
She did not speak to me the rest of that night or most of the day that followed. I did not enjoy her silence as much as I had expected to.
“May I hold that?”
Traveler Jarrett hesitated before answering me, as Travelers often did. Unable to understand our words, they relied on their tools to tell them what we said and how to answer. But I did not think Traveler Jarrett’s hesitation came from not understanding, not this time. I had pointed to the tool on his wrist while asking and then held my hands out, palms facing up. How could he not understand that?
Traveler Tess murmured a warning in Traveler Speak, but Traveler Jarrett unfastened his wrist tool anyway and placed it in my outstretched hands.
Traveler Tess moved her finger around in the air in front of her, listened for a moment to a voice no one else could hear, then looked directly at me and said, “Please be careful with that.” As if I were a small child and might start bashing the wrist tool against the packed earth floor of the Travelers’ house! Traveler Tess tried to act like a mother to the other Travelers, like my sister did with me. I did not think they heeded her any better than I with my sister.