Watching the Pot (Night Without End)

They watched us closely in the beginning, when we were new and unknown. When we had just won our freedom from the Den. It was harder then, we were bred to kill, and our forefathers knew little else. So the world trapped them as soldiers, warriors, hunters who were trusted no farther than the end of a leash, hi-tech as those leashes must be.

Our grandparents had it easier. They were no longer new, and they were no longer taught solely the path of the warrior. They moved as their natures allowed, into less terminal jobs, where they might earn the trust denied them. But they were not human. They could not own anything, and while not quite pets, they could not live without a human sponsor to take responsibility for them. And the watchers grew less.

Our parents were born into the world as second rate citizens, banned from voting, attending schools, and owning any weapons. From death to birth they worked for their freedom. Time and again they proved themselves, as cops, firefighters, bodyguards. We were warriors, but we no longer attacked. We merely defended. And the watchers grew less.

Now it is to my generation. If we are of strong enough human stock we can apply for citizenship. If we take the required courses, we can own weapons. If we wish we can attend those colleges who will have us. We are not human, but they will let us pretend.

The horizon is boiling, thick with storm clouds, but there are no watchers left to see.

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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