Author: Lachlan Redfern
My mother once told me I will never know the feeling of sunshine on my face. I remember telling her that was ridiculous. I’d felt the warmth of UV lamps, and in terms of physical sensation, there wasn’t any difference. Mother told me that there was, that sunshine had some sort of intangible quality she couldn’t express. I asked her if she could be more specific, and she burst into tears. I stopped arguing and just pulled her into a hug. I never mentioned sunshine to her again. I don’t mention a lot of things to mother.
It’s not strictly true that I haven’t felt sunshine. I’ve felt it filtered through several inches of reinforced polycarbonate, where it seems to have picked up some of the cold of space. I make a deliberate effort not to think about the things I could have experienced in the Age of Earth. We have enough depressed adults sitting around the colony as it is.
But every now and then, I get a voice in my head telling me I’ve been robbed of a future. Not very often, just once in a while. But when it comes, I give it the answer I always give; That no boy in the previous century ever got to stand on the lunar surface and gaze up at the Earth. That I’m one of the first to see lush green forests of radiation-absorbing moss, as oceans dyed a rich purple with poison-eating algae shine in the distant sunlight.