An Ending to Benhá

Charming stood on the Leaf’s southern flit deck overlooking Song. She hadn’t expected the surviving Bennies’ reconstruction efforts to be so far along. She hadn’t expected the reconstruction to be so thorough. Her Song had been laid out like a casual meeting of like-minded friends with no purpose other than togetherness. It was built in the vernacular of what was good at the time. This new Song was something else. It was something organized. It was something purposeful.

Obviously, Mondron had worked with the architecture firm and the Lander backers to keep the river style, but from the well-plotted thoroughfares to the river-level concrete flit deck and landing pad this Song sought a mercenary goal. That goal was well enough for them because they stayed, but it didn’t serve Charming because she wouldn’t.

She pulled some cash and coins from her pants pocket. Fanning the bills, she only found pale Lander money. She cupped the coins and folded the money before tucking it away in a different pocket. Charming thought she might find a touri shell or at least a scale, but none of the coins were Song tokens. She pocketed them all.

“For what it’s worth!” She flung an imaginary coin out over the new Song and pretended it glinted in the sunlight as it sailed out over the piers and scaffolding and green redi-mades already bunched inward.

The putting idle of the flit reminded her she still hadn’t left and that she needed to go, so she mounted it and revved the thrusters to clear out the dust. She jumped it into the air overlooking Song—again—just high enough that the engine noise didn’t echo off the deck. Below, laborers called to each other across the water and the gangs. Charming checked her line, planning on dropping from the Leaf and skimming out over Song. She noticed a scale wedged into the trim of the foot-board, smiled, and picked it free.

Good luck after all, but she kept it as a souvenir instead.


Laborers’ POV of Charming out of nowhere and skimming too low and outward over Song.

361 words on day 599