Matong wiped perspiration from his brow and leaned against his hoe, staring at the horizon. To his west, the dustbowl plains stretched three hundred miles until they met the ocean, and on all other sides the mountain ranges were too far away to see, but sometimes he liked to look anyway and pretend.
It’d been a long time since he’d been to the ocean. Not for five years–five long Cascade years, that was. Not since planetfall, where he’d been one of the ‘lucky’ ones given the assignment to work the barren, arid plains into lush farmland.
He snorted at the thought and the memory, then raked his hoe through the sandy dirt. A useless gesture, and one that didn’t make him feel any better.
Behind him, the door of his makeshift house creaked open.
“Dinner!” Hella shouted. It was her week to cook and she hated cooking almost as much as she hated him. Matong had no idea what tonight’s culinary delight would be.