“Why don’t the clouds form shapes anymore? People are like worms. They toe the line, walk the straight and narrow, and swarm like flies… They make me sick. What’s happened to Anets? It’s as if she really is just a wall. I’m not going to work, I hate it. But I hate sitting around at home as well. They’ll think I’m an Indifferent—but to hell with them. They’ll dismiss me, but they can give me 1 to 0 for all I care. Why don’t the clouds form shapes anymore?”
From Yekaterina Mikhailovskaya’s dystopian short story “Anets”, translated from the Russian by Will Firth. One strange thing about the story is that neither the translator nor anyone who knows something about Russian writing knows who the writer is or could locate her. There is an explanatory note about this in the text. I guess it’s more appropriate for a writer of a dark, futuristic fable to disappear than for someone who writes about fledgling wizards or housewives thirsting for a little S&M (or maybe those are her or his bread and butter writing and the dystopian writing was a sideline done under a pseudonym?).
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