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Spindrifts by A-M Mawhiney



Racism, climate change, and violence are in the past. The new world values respect and collaboration with others. But are there secrets lurking in the shadows of the Land of Hope? What truth about the past is being covered up?

When fifteen-year-old Fania returns from Immersion, she is shattered to learn that the next phase of her education is at home with Alicia, her granny. She had hoped for something far grander that would prepare her for an important role with the Earth Project. Their two strong personalities clash as Fania begins to learn more about the past and her family’s role in it.

As Fania grows in confidence and power, she starts to wonder exactly what secrets Alicia is keeping in her underground lab. After Fania discovers the truth, she finds her calling: one that has the power to change everything.

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Fania sighed. “I hate to admit it, but Granny was right.”

Kaib let out a sharp guffaw. “She usually is, and it is frustrating, isn’t it? What are you thinking about?”

“She told me to learn what my family lived through to appreciate why we live the way we do now. Like you, being teased. It changed the way we relate to people now, so we don’t comment on anyone’s appearance. But that didn’t just happen—you all made it like this. Or the history of Da’s family and racism, and how the plague years changed everyone, the world we live in,
actually. They inspired the desire for so much change. Or Granny’s life that looked so perfect and exciting, until I learned she never played with people who weren’t like her. That is such a narrow way of living, I think. We don’t live like that anymore. But it didn’t just happen. People worked together to achieve it. Now I see glimpses of how changing all that has shaped us now. We are much more respectful of everyone because we are all working to save Earth.”

“So what does all this mean to you?” Kaib stopped walking, knowing this was an important conversation for Fania’s future.

“Why, Poppy, when I think about everything you all did to transform things when you were young, it makes me realize the future of Earth now relies on what young people like Nuna and I can do to make things even better. It makes me want to be part of finding the way forward. I know we need to think about the future, and not just my own, and what part I can play in creating
that future. And it may take my whole lifetime to build on the work that your generation and Granny’s generation started so long ago. We each need to picture Earth fifty years from now and work out what it will be like by that time. I’m just not sure what my role is yet.”

Before Kaib could reply, they suddenly heard people calling. They paused and listened.

“They’re calling for Ollie. I think he’s lost. Let’s go,” Fania urged.

As they broke into a jog, Kaib dug at his memory to recall what he knew about Ollie. He was Charles’ and May’s youngest son. When they’d seen Ollie at Storbots, he looked so little. If he is along this trail somewhere, he is too far from home, he thought.

Fania ran ahead, Kaib following closely behind her. They followed Charles’ distraught voice calling for Ollie. Once they were on the flatlands far below the ridge, after turning the twist in the trail, they found Charles sobbing, his head in his hands, collapsed against a tree by the lane to Land of Hope.

“Charles,” Kaib said in a quiet voice, kneeling down. “We’re here to help. Tell us what happened.”

“I thought Ollie was inside with May, and she’d seen him heading in my direction so thought he was with me.” It was difficult to hear the words because Charles was breathing with difficulty, and his words came out in gasps and groans.

“Okay. We’re going to take you back to your place. You and May need to be together right now. We’ll organize a search.

“Poppy, Gram just linked. She and Da have started in opposite directions along the river trail, and Ma is searching around the neighbouring farms. If you take Charles home, I will go join Da. Gram is headed into the village, and the links have reached everyone there. They’ve started to organize a search party.”

“I have to keep looking. He’s my son, and this is my fault,” Charles wailed. Still, he stood up and Kaib gently guided him in the direction of Charles’ farm, beyond the entrance to Land of Hope, while Fania ran to the river to join Jojo.


AM MawhineyA-M Mawhiney was deeply moved by the events of 2020 and the cries from advocates fighting for equity and justice for people living precarious lives because of structural barriers and discrimination. As a former social worker and academic, she has spent her career seeking ways to improve the lives of marginalized learners through inclusive education for all students. Mawhiney has hope for a better future for us all. Her vision of what this might look like inspired her to write Spindrifts.

Anne-Marie lives in Sudbury, Ontario, in the territory of the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek in the Robinson-Huron Treaty Area, with Dave McGill and their canine companion, Charlie.

Follow A-M on her website, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.


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