New Reign by Sonya Barrera Eddy
Science fiction is a laudable genre (though I’m not one to make black and white assumptions about genre). And I think flash fiction lends itself well to it. All good flash creates a world, so why not make it one that is clearly not one we live in — socially, culturally, politically, economically, what have you. Sonya Eddy does so quite nicely in New Reign through the epistolary form of journal entry (epistolary as you will see).
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New Reign by Sonya Barrera Eddy
Journal Entry – Fifteen days until new reign.
They have agreed to a wedding. While I was throwing my temper tantrum outside, as our fathers delivered the news, Jailah was raging in our mind trying to shut me up. I threw a few of our perfume bottles on the floor and Jailah tried soothing the servants who were whimpering and fretting. She likes Mica the glamorous half, of course, of the binary our parents have arranged we marry. Jailah is our beautiful half, but she is also our stupid half. Mica is delicious and bookish. I understand her attraction to him, but she doesn’t understand that we are also going to have our existence tied to that disgusting, salivating-rodent of a being Miran. That is the thing with Binary’s, we always come in pairs. Mica and Miran are no different. I assume they share the same consciousness, like Jailah and I do. I would hate to be privy to anything that might flit across the frontal lobe of Miran. Usually the difference between Binary’s isn’t as pronounced as it is in those two. Jailah and I look very similar, I don’t deny her beauty or my plainness, but we still look similar, which means that she gets us into trouble, but I have the means to get us out of anything she gets us into. She hates when I say that. She is at this moment telling me to quit writing stuff like that down, but she isn’t in the room, so she can’t do anything about it. Being the beautiful one, means that her presence is required at state events that are open to the public, like breakfast on the day after the announcement of our wedding. Being the brains, without the beauty, my presence is only required when our fathers have planning to do. So this morning I am free to write whatever I want in our journal. It more than makes up for the fact that Jailah gets to eat breakfast and try and throw coy glances and half smiles at Mica, which is what the public has shown up to see. We both know who has the better end of that deal. I suppose Miran is lurking somewhere on the grounds as well. Our fathers assigned them to a room on the fifth floor of the compound, so that they would be far enough away from us not to pose any threat to decency; they are still pretending that our family maintains a shred of integrity after the way our mothers died. Just because we control the court system doesn’t mean we control the hearts of the service class. Although they still shows up for the spectacle of state breakfast, no matter how many rumors circulate. I don’t think the situation our family is facing requires an alliance to the Binary’s Mica and Miran. It’s not going to change anything.
Lyle Rosdahl, a writer living in San Antonio, edits the flash fiction blog & best of in print for the Current. He created, facilitates and participates in Postcard Fiction Collaborative, a monthly flash fiction response to a photo. You can see more of his work, including photos, paintings and writing, at lylerosdahl.com.
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