art by Void lon iXaarii
by Callie Snow
She sits in front of the screen long after he disconnects. Her gaze drifts over to the window, to the bubbly city below. Millions of happy citizens are starting their weekends, taking walks, shopping, enjoying leisurely brunches with friends.
She's wearing her nicest clothes, and her fur is neatly brushed. She could still go out--he wouldn't think to cancel the reservations--except she doesn't have money; the apartment is expensive and the relocation swallowed her savings. Plus she doesn't have friends. For three weeks now, all she does is drive a hover-cab, like so many other new New Yorkers, and wait for increasingly sporadic holo-calls, like so many other clueless women before her.
Besides, she wouldn't fit in with the happy people.
She doesn't mean to lash her tail when she stands, but she does, and her stool crashes to the floor. The downstairs neighbors, a trio of unmarried octopods, once called an ambulance after she knocked over a lamp, so she screams out, "I'm fine!" Octopods. They seem to think anything with bones is frail.
"Glad to hear it!" a muffled voice yells back.
She rolls her eyes, but it's strangely comforting that someone cares. She rights the stool. The screen has gone dark, and she sees her reflection in it: furry, the end of her tail flicking.