Hi everyone! I’m so excited to share that the Kickstarter Campaign for the Trans-Galactic Bike Ride, a Queer Feminist SFF anthology, is now live! This anthology features stories from a ton of awesome writers, all centering on transgender characters. Please check it out!
My short story, “Rovers,” is also included in this collection. Here’s an excerpt from the beginning of the story, which follows a courier named Fetch as he bikes from Community to Community.
Outside the frame of what was once Oldfather Hall in Lincoln, Nebraska, Fetch loaded letters, packages, and supplies—gathered from hours of digging through abandoned homes and businesses. The correspondence—everything he carried was “correspondence”—stacked high in his cart, and he considered expanding the carriage, but the bigger size made his bike too cumbersome around winding roads or uphill tracks. He tied everything down, instead.
The people in this Community were friendly enough, he supposed. With the time his rounds took, someone might be dead the next time he returned. The only people he saw more often than twice a year were other couriers—too busy, too rushed to stop and chat.
He uncapped his canteen and one of the residents poured carbon-filtered water into it. Her name was Liz, he was pretty sure.
“Thanks,” Fetch said. Liz nodded and set the big pitcher down. “So, did you get the stuff I asked about last time? The testosterone?” He spoke in a quiet voice once he saw her expression shift from neutral to tense.
“Trust me, Fetch, I advocated as much as I could for you,” she said. He deflated and she patted his shoulder with a tight smile. She always seemed so uncomfortable with him. “I know it’s hard, but medicine’s tough. Any factories these days are geared for, well, life-saving drugs.” He shook her hand away.
“Right. Sure. See you.” Never mind. Before the wells ran dry, before the mines all collapsed, they hadn’t quite gotten to trans folks’ needs yet. The many still voted on the needs of the few today.
Fetch went back to his bike, where a couple of kids pointed at the solar panel on its motor. He shooed them away, saw their sad faces, and decided to talk to them to sate his guilt.
“How fast does it go all charged up?” one kid said.
“Twenty miles per hour or so,” Fetch said.
“Why don’t you have a partner like the other couriers?” the other kid said. Fetch remembered the peculiar looks he got from people whenever he visited Communities, or even bumped into other couriers. Remembered that feeling of walking just beside his body, never aligning with it. It hurt—all of it.
“I just like the solitude,” he said. He strapped on his gear—leather pants, boots, jacket, elbow and knee pads, gloves, helmet. A survival dagger at his belt. Legally, it was supposed to be strapped sideways across his back. But these days, the government had no presence. Suits never bothered him.
Fetch kicked up the stand on his bike, hit the motor’s switch, and sped off. It puttered away towards Des Moines with a hum and a shake.
Thank you for reading! Again, if you’d like to check out the Kickstarter to support this awesome publication, you can view it after this link.