Midmorning, it was time to sleep.
But first she had to unfold the hoverboard. The Special
who’d instructed her had explained that it needed as much
surface area in the sun as possible while it recharged. She
pulled the release tabs, and it came apart. It opened like a
book in her hands, becoming two hoverboards, then each
of those opened up, and then those, unfolding like a string
of paper dolls. Finally, Tally had eight hoverboards con-
nected side-to-side, twice as wide as she was tall, no thicker
than a stiff sheet of paper. The whole thing fluttered in the
stiff ocean breeze like a giant kite, though the board’s mag-
nets kept it from blowing away.
Tally laid it flat, stretched out in the sun, where its
metallic surface turned jet black as it drank in solar energy.
In a few hours it would be charged up and ready to ride
again. She just hoped it would go back together as easily as
it had pulled apart.
Tally pulled out her sleeping bag, yanked it out of its
pack, and wriggled inside, still in her clothes. “Pajamas,”
she added to her list of things she missed about the city.
She made a pillow of her jacket, struggled out of her
shirt, and covered her head with it. She could already feel a
hint of burn on her nose, and realized she had forgotten to
stick on a sunblock patch after daybreak. Perfect. A little
red and flaking skin should go quite nicely with the
scratches on her ugly face.
Sleep didn’t come. The day was getting warm, and it