Contact, c’est « Wallis & Ashvin », une nouvelle écrite par Véronique Biefnot & Francis Dannemark – dont la version originale en français est parue dans le n° 287 de la revue Marginales, dirigée par Jacques De Decker. C’est aussi « A New Life » de Véronique Biefnot (« Une vie nouvelle », à paraître en français dans une anthologie de Marc Bailly) et « Crossing the Big Water » de F.D. (« La traversée des grandes eaux », in Zoologie, au Castor Astral).
Looking forward to a changing world, Véronique Biefnot and Francis Dannemark, two of Belgium’s leading authors, explore the question of what will be the heart’s deepest desire in days to come—and find that it will be the same desire the heart has always had : Contact.
My dear Ashvin,
I don’t know if you’ll get this message. Ever since the last shortage of alcato-freon, the Directors of District 43 seem to have decided that the maintenance of our telecommunications network is a minor problem. So I’m writing to you—just as the Ancients did when they cast a bottle into the sea—without having any idea whether you’ll ever read this. Our correspondence has always been my oxygen tank. (I love that old fashioned term from the days before the dome was built!)
So how’s life on your side of the water? Did you decide to get your injection this month? We’ve had to get by without them here. The usual supply problems. They’ve assured us that if necessary we’ll get a double dose next month. The Major keeps saying it’s because the borders between various districts have been closed, and that there was nothing that could be done about that. But how will I explain to the residents of our sector that it’s just one more clever way of keeping everybody in the dark? Or will I even bother trying? Districts 38 and 42 have been declared impure. Relations with them have been broken off for good—and I have family down there. But the Major says we’ll have to forget about them.They no longer belong to our caste. And why is this? Does it have anything to do with the recent miners’ rebellions? I’m sure it does, even if our sector crier is going around saying the opposite.
I hope that you’re doing well and that you’ll be able to write to me soon—and tell me a bit about the upcoming festival in your marvelous country, which in our eyes is always an unattainable paradise.
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