Thunderstorm Boy – YA Science Fiction Short Story

Thunderstorm Boy – YA Science Fiction Short Story

Feat Img For Thunderstorm Boy With A Drawing Of A Dust Storm In An Arid Semi Desert

The desert sun burned hot and dry on his back. Most folks spent little time outdoors during the summer, except to delight in the cool river waters. In the centuries after everything almost hit breaking point, the only place you could find motorboats was in the museum in Naarm down south.

From what he’d been told, the folks who’d lived on this land hundreds of years ago loved their watersports. He could appreciate the need to be cool on blistering days, but some things didn’t feel right when he slipped into the water. He was working on it, though.

In the midday heat, the long remains of the old highway shimmered. Tendrils of sandy-colored dust rose into the evening air, but the heat was relenting. He wished he could do the same. He’d felt better earlier, but the headache was now a full-blown migraine.

How he wanted to bang his head against the old mallee root next to the disintegrating tarmac, but disrespecting nature was punishable by life imprisonment. A suitable consequence of such a despicable action, but the pull was strong. No matter. He had a task to complete. Despite his determination, he swallowed hard, forcing the bile down.

A trickle of sweat ran down his forehead. He was covered in loose baggy clothing to keep out the heat, the raging sun, and his dysphoria. There was little he wouldn’t do to protect his body. Regardless of how it didn’t feel like his some days. Ahead was the burned-out shell of a classic muscle car. He could still make out some details despite its faded paint.

He moved forward, daring to breathe for fear of alerting any observers. He moved towards the car, circling the perimeter until he reached a section that had been clear of brush. Something inside would be useful to him. He touched the metal of the car, almost tingling at the heat. He could feel his way around the dashboard.

The gap between the dash and seat was obvious. His fingers pried into the gap, finding something hard. With a little effort, he pulled it out. His face wrinkled as he picked through the charred remains. He put it back where he’d found it and continued his search for something more useful.

He almost skipped the glove compartment, a box with a hinged lid in the center of the dash. All the other drawers had been reduced to ash by the fire that had taken the car out, but this was still intact. He pressed the latch to open it. Inside was some paperwork, but it was burned beyond usefulness.

There was also a little box full of pens, pencils, and other writing supplies, but he wasn’t interested in that. His hands closed over a stack of old paper notes. They’d get him a tidy sum. He found a stack of old photographs.

He held the photos up to his nose and took in a long whiff. He almost felt like he’d been transported back to his parents’ country, with all the memories it held. He pulled out the photos, careful to protect them from the heat. They were landscapes of the southern coast. He went through the photos. One by one, he added them to his collection. It was a sign.

He retraced his steps back to where he’d left his bike, careful to remain concealed until he was deep in the scrub. He couldn’t be seen by anyone. Hours later, he was on top of the crumbling concrete wall, remnants of the weir when they’d tried to tame the mighty body of water.

Twilight was just breaking, and the water was the brightest shade of blue he’d ever seen, reflecting the gigantic harvest moon. It streamed past his fingers before he plunged them in, palm first. The water cascaded dover his hand, leaving inky-black droplets on his skin.

The dust storm was moving north when he watched the clouds break. The heat of summer wasn’t something he liked. He was descendend from dust people, growing up and dying on this baked land. But he knew better. He was a thunderstorm boy, destined to move south to Naarm, his rightful home. He’d make it out. It was just a matter of time.

About The Author

Leo Flynn - (Founder & Author)

Author: Leo Flynn writes queer YA hopepunk for the lost. Other galaxies and reading everything consumes his waking hours. He’s Australian, but bounces all over the place. Why? Why not?