Meera started in the morning, long before Shu-fang did. Shu-fang could have, but the other two women had seemed to think that Meera’s morning hours were a bit more odd so Shu-fang let them keep that feeling. She didn’t want to stand out too much. Every little bit of energy that Shu-fang could muster went to acting like a regular person. As regular as any individual could ever be.
“I got a text last night. Apparently we have someone who found a bunch of old clothes somewhere or another and she wants them repaired.”
“I don’t have any other plans,” Shu-fang said quickly. Repairs? She was very good with those. Meera knew it too. She had spent some time watching Shu-fang with it and other than a few pointers when it came to the machine, Meera always left her to it. Shu-fang felt like she would still have some time to go when it came to fashioning the clothes from scratch. She didn’t want to waste any fabric, after all. But when it came to repairs Shu-fang was already a master.
There were years she had worn certain things threadbare as she continued to repair and repair them. She knew a bit better about it now.
The day began with a gunshot.
Her eyes shot open, a moment of energy, before she lost it again. She glared at the ceiling. “Are they starting already?”
Oh, she wasn’t alone. She must have woken up right before she was to be woken by her servant. She sat up. “Why?”
“Your wife wanted it out of the way before breakfast.”
She was going to throw her wife out the window. Woman was getting far too ahead of herself in thinking of what she was allowed to do without asking first. “Get me my clothes,” she ordered.
While she might not get there in time, she couldn’t afford to wait longer.
There was no need to set an alarm.
She heard it through the walls, as she did every morning. The screeching of whatever animal. Well, she knew what animal it was. During the day, he was a very nice dog. She enjoyed seeing him from over the fence, wiggling his tail and the rest of him.
Yet at six o’clock in the morning, he didn’t understand why anyone was still asleep and had to wake up the neighborhood.
Getting out of bed, she opened her window and, after making sure the window was closed, aimed a rock from her pile at the sill. She struck it dead on. She readied another, but didn’t throw it as the movement from the curtains told her the person on the other side was actually getting up.
With a sigh, she got ready for work.
The most annoying sound in the world woke him up a full five hours before he even wanted to consider rousing. He pulled his pillow over his head and tried to ignore it. A hand rested on his shoulder as his wife caught his attention.
At least, whatever existed of his attention at this time in the morning. “Hmm?” She had said something, but he missed it.
“Your alarm is going off, dear.”
His alarm? He wouldn’t do that to himself. She moved the pillow off his head and he stared blearily up at her. “Whut?”
“You wanted to get up earlier today.”
He would remember something like that. “Changed m’ mind.”
She sat him up, like he was a child. At this point, he wouldn’t have minded. It was Saturday, a child would’ve been able to sleep in, right? “Really.”
“I’m making the bed anyway, for once. You can sleep in your chair.”
Like that, he was evicted from his bed. Sleepily he watched her work.
Then remembered why he wanted to be up at a normal time in the morning. “Great.”
Time to get to work.
“Wake up! Look how beautiful the morning is?”
She reluctantly opened her eyes and stared out the window, where the dawn showed the sky on fire. She groaned and pressed her face back into pillow. “The valley’s on fire.”
“The… valley’s on fire?”
She woke up. “Shit. The valley’s on fire.”
Subjectively, the sky still was beautiful.