Dear Mary Anne Mohanraj, your story Hush just blew me away! I have probably never read anything so short that threw me for such a loop.
This story about a middle-aged mom coming home from a long trip as a flight attendant. She is “human” but not of a new world, not like her ancestors of Old Earth. But is she humane? This is tested the day she comes home to find her (alien) neighbors’ daughter (approximately 14-years-old) being harassed by the local authorities.
Of course, you Ms. Mohanraj know your story, but for those reading my love note to your story, they need to know how a (alien) Razuli child, scared, alone, trusted a familiar adult (rightly or wrongly), how a woman named Jenny did whatever she could do to help a child feel safe, loved, have a space where they are not attached, harmed, killed.
This is a short story that packs a lot into a little space. Not 5000 words, this story must have more. How can we leave not knowing if Jenny is a good as she seems? Or if Katika will be okay. Why did the lies Jenny told to the police at the airport hurt her so? There is much also not said.
This could be any “alien child” being separated from family. This could be any “alien child” being forced to face hatred and hate crimes face on. This could be set on an alien planet, or in our own backyard. Current events unfold in a manner that makes them hit home on another level.
I know there is more to this story. Jenny has flaws. How innocent is Katika? What is next for these two people? What is next for this planet?
Thank you for creating your heart-wrenching tale.
A new fan