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There used to be blankets of snow here. The few trees were bent under the weight of it, and the dirt underneath never saw the sunlight. It was an endless expanse of white. But everything started warming up.
I live on the south edge of what was once known as the Arctic. Now, it’s just the only place that isn’t burning. If you look north, there is more arctic and a blue sky. If you look south, the sky is orange, glowing from the burning continents.
The struggle to get here when the entire world was clamoring for its land won it the nickname Haven. Everyone had to earn their way into Haven or die. Most of them perished in the journey or the battles, but my mother made it here while she was pregnant with me. She told me the story before she died.
Her first vessel was boarded by pirates, and she was taken prisoner. Eventually, the pirates met their match trying to take over a ship that had too many crewmen. She was rescued. Close to Haven, a storm caused their ship to capsize, and she floated on a large plastic container for three days. Then, she washed ashore at Haven, alone.
We managed to stay alone until I turned 19, but with her gone, I need to find a community to survive. So, I have been searching, and after several days of travel, I’ve discovered a town protected by a tall wooden fence carved into spikes at the top. I don’t see any way through it without talking to them and asking. But that could mean my death.
“Hello,” I call from outside its gates.
A man’s head pops over the top of the fence. My mother told me about men. I can tell he is one from the beard.
“No outsiders! Leave or die!”
I tell him exactly what my mother told me to tell anyone that I encounter here.
“I am a child of Haven! Let me pass!”
His mouth gapes open for a moment. When he comes to his senses, he opens the gate, and several men and women come running out to me. One of them falls at my feet while the rest lightly touch my hair and face and arms.
What is so special about my being born here? I have to find out.
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