The Storylet Experiment: Part 6

It wasn’t as though Lily had never thought of getting lung rot. No, it was something that was on everyone’s mind starting from childhood, as soon as they were old enough to understand. If one did not die from an accident, murder, or an even more aggressive disease, then it would be lung rot that killed them. It was merely a matter of when it would happen and how quickly the disease progressed. Some lucky folks didn’t contract it until their 70s; the most unfortunate were infants who survived a few months before the dark sludge took their breath away. Some died within a month of diagnosis, others were able to manage on for years.

Everyone knew it was from the smoke and ash that burning lucrite produced. Clothes were used to cover mouths and noses: rags for the poor, silk handkerchiefs for those with more money, full-time oxygen tanks and masks for the wealthy. If they could, people would also try to live as far away from the Energy District as possible, or as high up as they could. Lucrite ash was heavy and tended to drift downward relatively quickly. The richest of the population owned airships that flew high above the rooftops during the day, though even they needed to be grounded during the night.

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