GENRE: YA Dystopian
When Logan finally arrives, he's holding a flower that could kill me.
I stop tapping my nails on the fence and stare at the green stem, at how the petals glint silver so they almost look like metal.
"What the hell's wrong with you?" I shove his arm away and back up so fast I ram into our shack's windowsill, but I've felt worse.
It's been eleven years since I've seen petals like that. Inventors used genetic manipulation to make silver aster flowers calming for the mind, but I'm severely allergic to their pollen.
I sift my fingers through the dirt, find a rock, and throw it at his shoulder. Hard.
His laughter dies. "Jeez, Clementine." He lifts a calloused hand and tears off a flower petal. Thin silver wrapping falls away, leaving behind the blackening blue of a common aster. It's grimy, of course. Everything's covered in grime on the Surface.
My cheeks grow hot.
He smiles. "You didn't seriously think I'd sneak into the Core to find a silver aster for you? God."
"Oh shut up, Logan. You're such an idiot."
He tosses me the perfectly ordinary flower. I scowl, but sniff it. Smells like dust. Same as everything.
"You ready to go?" he asks.
I snort and flick a red-orange curl out of my eye. Of course I'm ready. I'm wearing my only dress, light blue with faded pink flowers speckled across its fabric. I'm evening wearing shoes - Laila's old ones. She would scold me for not wearing them more, if she were still around.