Father of Constructs by Aaron Renfroe EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
- Status: Available for Free Download
- Author: Aaron Renfroe
- Language: English
- Genre: Steampunk Science Fiction
- Format: PDF / EPUB
- Size: 2 MB
- Price: Free
Harvey Loves Trains
Harvey woke to one of his coughing fits. Disoriented by the orange
hued shadows of his half-collapsed, makeshift tent, he rolled to his
side as spasms shook his entire body. By the time it was over, he ached all
the way to his bones. He couldn’t remember the pain being so intense
before. Then again, he couldn’t remember a time without it.
“Hasn’t killed me so far,” he said optimistically, crawling out from
beneath the ancient tarp he called home. The sun’s early rays sent startling
spears through his cloudy vision, making him wince and suck in a breath of
oppressive, dry heat.
Stretching his bent back, he waited for his eyes to adjust before looking
around. A field of solar panels stretched from his home into the distance,
many of them covered in a patina of rust-colored dust. In the center of the
panels, fluting outward like some giant mushroom, was the Light Collector.
Recycled magic was getting more expensive, so the Collectors were the
last, grim hope for his hometown.
Brow furrowing, Harvey tried to count how many of the panels needed his
attention right away. Once he reached eight, he frowned, looked down at his
fingers, and began again. He’d never been good at counting, or spelling for
that matter, and neither had improved in his old age.
Tugging on his dusty, worn-out poncho and slouchy sombrero, followed
by his often-torn pants, he walked barefoot around the tarp to his work
equipment. The townsfolk helped him maintain his tools, for which he was
grateful. It wasn’t much, just a collection of janitorial supplies. There were
brushes, slop buckets, a cart for wheeling trash in and out of the town, and a
few other odds and ends. One small, covered container even had some
basic, albeit rusty tools for when he tried to repair things.
As he made his way out to the glassy field, he fought back more coughs.
Thirst gripped his throat, squeezing it like a vice. When was the last time
he’d had a full ration of water? He couldn’t remember. Looking from the
panels, he let his gaze linger briefly on the train station.
It was barely a
quarter of a mile from his place, on his way to town. Rolling his tongue
across the stumps of his few remaining teeth, he thought as hard as he
could. According to the laws, everyone got a water ration every day, as long
as they did their civic duty. He’d never failed to do his duty. Not once.
“Good men do good work,” he recited through parched lips.
The wind blew, tugging at the edge of his slouchy hat and fluttering the
loose tips of what remained of his long, bleach-white hair. Despite
contracting the Havoc Plague shortly after being born, Harvey was a tall
man, a few inches over six feet. Tanned skin stretched taut over a lean, hard
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