This story is part of Imagine 2200: Climate Fiction for Future Ancestors, a climate-fiction contest from Fix.
* * *Maradi, Niger: 2038
“It’s not working,” Tsayaba says. She shakes her head in disgust. “Kai!”
“Just wait,” Ouma says, adjusting her scarf with shivering hands. “Yi hankali. Give it a minute.”
It’s a cold, dusty day — harmattan season is so unpredictable now, even with the weather drones they balloon up from Zinder and Niamey. The sky is choked gray, so full of dust that the sun is a smeary yellow blob that makes Ouma think of a lemon candy.
She takes one from her jacket pocket and hands it to Tsayaba, who stares at it. “This has a plastic wrapper, Ouma,” she says. “Are you trying to drive me crazy?”
Ouma unpeels it and pops it into her own mouth instead. She knows her older cousin is already a little — not crazy; Ouma has been reading e-flets on why that is a stigmatized and offensive term — but a little different. In a good way, a driven way, a furious-thrumming-brain-too-big-for-her-beautifully-braided-head way.
That is why she made money m... Read more