“Several hundred thousand years ago,” mused Lurulu, “we had a period called ‘The Era of Insanity’; this was when the white-haired people of the south and the golden-haired people of the north purposely killed each other.” She paused, then said vaguely, “They had a culture roughly equivalent to yours.”
Lurulu ignored the onlookers, completely indifferent to the staring eyes and excited babble. Baxter, uncomfortable and somehow resentful, followed at her elbow as she turned up the street. She seemed to enjoy the sunlight, and held her hand outstretched, as if feeling the texture of the light. Her skin glowed like rich satin. She breathed deeply, glanced in at the houses which lined the street. Blackney’s little hospital was in a pleasant suburb, shaded with great elms, and the houses sat well back among gardens.
Republished in Golden Girl and Other Stories, Spatterlight, 2012.