"The Spear Carrier" by A.M. Dellamonica: An Appreciation by Paul Abbamondi
"The Spear Carrier" is told through the eyes of a woman named Opal who is trying hard to get everything ready for Masao's ceremony procession. Masao is being initiated into the society that exists on Arune as an ambassador after saving the inhabitants kids during an accident inside a passenger compartment. It is Opal's job to make sure everything runs smoothly, and since they are some of the only people of Earth left, it is basically vital that nothing goes wrong.
The voices of Opal and Masao balance each other in that during one moment one is serious while the other quirky, and at the next, witty and somber. Dellamonica is able to create an air of tension throughout the story, making the reader feel just as worried as Opal that Masao is going to mess up during the procession.
I found this tale to be a fun read that takes place in a fully developed world; the characters are real, the conflict dangerous, and the closing just enough to please the mind. Thank you, Ellen, for finding this gem and making it shine.
Link to story.