This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Two minutes ago the bullet pierced my wife’s breast, throwing her back against my chest.
Three hours ago UN forces broke through our flimsy perimeter barricades, staining our ivory, dusty yard with their filthy ridged boots.
Five weeks ago the world’s most powerful nations voted to ban sales of moon acreage to individuals, nullifying the homestead my family lives on. “No one has the right to own any part of the moon--it is a universal resource that belongs to theearth,” they said, because they wanted to own it, and if they can’t, no one can. Even our Paraguayan homeland voted against us.
Eight months ago Time magazine reported on my wife’s clean energy enterprise mining H3 by the sea of tranquility, alerting the whole world to how much earthlings stand to make monetizing the moon. They assumed she, too, did it for the cash. As if we didn’t live in a two by six meter box. As if we didn’t need oxygen.
Thirteen years ago my wife’s dark eyes sparkled like our Guarani night sky as we squeezed into the tiny capsule atop our rocket to the moon. I could feel her heart throbbing against my chest as she whispered, “We’re free now.”
Twenty-one years ago I began selling everything we owned and working double shifts at the bio-tengineering firm in Asuncion to save up for a one-way ticket into space.
Thirty-four years ago my wife bought three acres on the moon, online, stumbling over her words in an almost singing voice as she sold me her manic dream of sustainable farming in a glass box. I didn’t believe, at the time, that the world was wrong enough to warrant escapism like that, but I admitted that her fingertips--something in the slow, sweeping way they spread the Pop sci articles and smudged pubmed printouts on the hot floor around us--something in the way she fingered the vines sprawling across our cement patio promised me that if anyone could build a biosphere on the moon, she could. She’d just dropped out of high-school.
Fifty-five seconds ago she gripped my face with her clammy hands as I screamed surrender. The wrinkles around her eyes now squeeze “no,” but she cannot speak. Her voice has left her to possess our teenage son--he hurls himself at his mother’s murderers, he dies slicing open their air hoses, smashing their helmets, roaring her words: “We will fight for our home!” He was born on the moon; his pooling blood seems to shine against its surface. I give up, I beg him to stop, plead her to live; I’m bargaining, he’s anger, she’s acceptance. She gasps in Guarani, promising me she’ll see me again. “Jajotopapeve.”
She breathes, and then doesn’t. Her soul mists her helmet. It’s fading, all of it--they squeeze my oxygen line to drag me off her. I choke. They throw a flare torch into the gutted capsule we arrived in, where our beds lay, and for a moment there are flames before the air disappears. The flames choke. The astronauts smash the walls of the plastic box where our food grows, and the plants pop out jubilantly like jack-in-the-boxes, little knowing they’re soon to starve. To choke.
Mi amor, all of it, dies.
We were arrogant to dream--to dream we could wake the world by moving to the moon--no, arrogant even to dream we could ever really own anything, no, no, NO--arrogant to dream at all. We were arrogant to dream at all.
The moon is no longer our home. The moon--the moon belongs to the earth.
Leah Brown: This was an amazing read! I was hooked from the very first chapter, holding my breadth to see what would happen next. The characters are rich and vibrant, and the world Danielle has created is fascinating. If you love YA, you MUST read this book. Such a smart, brilliant debut novel. I loved it!
dd1226: I love reading about other countries and I think this story about Cambodia after Polpot creates awareness of the tragedy that happened there and the actions of the U.N. to hold elections. The heroine of the story is easy to relate to, a modern, middleaged woman looking for an adventure, wanting t...
Sammi Chan: THIS WAS AMAZING!!! My favorite part of this story was the slow build of Merlin and Arthur's relationship. Their relationship was rlly nicely fleshed out and so good :) The way that you handled the magic reveal was super enjoyable. I rlly liked the switching POVs. Good!Mordred was cute and I'm rl...
Dru83: This is the second or third time I've read this one and I just love it. It has just about everything you could ever want packed into one scifi story. It still has some parts that are a little rough in terms of grammar, punctuation, and word usage, but it's still an awesome story. I love how detai...
Roger A. Fauble: Excellent read, the only thing not to like is that I could only read it at home on my computer. I'm a character reader, I get into the characters, their story, who/what they are. In this story characters are introduced and developed allowing you to really get into them. Next the story is develop...
ElNachoWOTC: The grammar is tight and easy too read while packing a great vocabulary and you use a lot of vivid imagery with your words. One of the biggest things I noticed right away is the gritty realism you managed to cram into this book while going into a lot of exotic fantasy material. Including issue...
EchoOblivion: As an avid reader of sci-fi, this book really appealed to me, and it did not disappoint with its descriptions of a futuristic society and planet. I really enjoyed reading it, the only slight issue I had with it was there was not much of a overall plot - the whole book just hinged on the fact that...
Lydia Sherrer: I first read The Speaker almost a decade ago when I first discovered author Sandra Leigh. I loved it then, and I still love it now. It is a simple, easy read, yet deep in meaning and rich in storyline. I do not know what kind of research or prior knowledge Leigh has of First Nation tribes, but sh...
Tony Lee: Great ideas. Some mistakes here and there, but not too much to break the immersion :) This was my second book here, and I'm pretty satisfied! Well I can't think of anything else to write so I'm just gonna fill the space up with random words. Magazine holder sidney sheldon first bible shack tom ha...
Steve Lang: I thought this story was imaginative, and well thought out. I also think it was an original piece, and not a rehash of previous scifi stories I've read in the past.Thank you for the effort put into this tale, and I look forward to reading more of your work!
mrh: This interesting take on the Harry Potter series fascinated me from line one on. I am in love with this tale and its characters and cannot wait to read the next chapter. I look forward to more soon.When can I expect the next chapter? I am so excited to read it!
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."