Short Stories (0 - 0K Words)
"The Valley has Two Faces" - Gareth Jones (1751 words)
He could see it in their faces as they passed by, the way they looked at him. Different, freak, aberration. You don't belong here. Bailey had seen it his whole life. Even though he was born in the valley the same as everyone else. Grown in the valley.
Aberration was the official term. The scientists at the fertility centre had no explanation. Contamination of the DNA source, they thought. Nobody knew where such contamination had come from. Bailey trudged along the main track that led to the fertility centre, ignoring the passersby as he went. The sun was low, hovering just above the squat Western mountains that bordered one side of the valley. Somewhere beyond were bands of feral men. Bailey had never seen any, knew nobody who had. There were stories of how they hunted other men, moving like ghosts through the trees and rocks, impossible to escape from, impossible to see them coming. If they caught you, the stories went, they would keep you as a slave and brand you with a red-hot iron. Nobody from the feral tribes had ever been in the valley, yet they were the only source of outside DNA that could have contaminated the valley's pure strain.