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Two Twisted Tales of T'Omelas

Two stories inspired by the discourse around Omelas and the sff community.

Story Spotlight: List

Those Who Came Back

I don't think Le Guin would've approved, but what the hey.

“Humanity? Hehehe, why yes, I do believe in humanity! I believe in them,  I love the pitiable creature called Man. I, I know they can be beautiful, and great, and wise, and wondrous. But not without pain. Not without scars, scars on the outside, and in. Heh heh, not without sin!”

- The most ancient Fiend, in all her lunacy

In the city of Umlott, where the sun never truly set, where it never dipped fully beneath the world’s rim to usher in the dark of night, the citizens contented themselves to leisuring about the grand palatial parkways. Whether by foot or by bike, they translated across brick-paved streets miles long and interlocking like the Rings of their ancient runic sigils, now long since forgotten. For what need is there for folk gods and Their magic, when Total Victory had been achieved in generations past, that ancient birthright long since rendered onto the citizenry in their current ignorance? Now, the descendants of those prideful soldiers took in their artificial sunlight amidst their manicured lawns and gardens, and did little else besides enjoy the fruits of eternal peacetime. The flowers had been rigorously selected long ago, and bred into their current state of perennial bloom, so that spring never abandoned the city. No tree or shrub could produce any pollen, so as to not agitate the people’s senses. In fact, they had to be replaced by their own clones whenever they died of old age, which was the only way they and their human stewards died in Umlott.

Nothing valued ever tarnished, and no one ever worked in Umlott, no one save the…

Story Spotlight: Text

And They Shall Only Know to Fear the Flame in Jericho

She got in at a quarter past eleven at night. She took off her wings, unhooked her bra, and untucked her penis. She’d just finished a ten hour day, not including the thirty minute commute both ways. Worse still, her superiors ordered her to bring her unfinished paperwork to be finished by tomorrow morning. Her back hurt. She took a quick five minute shower to decompress, to collect her thoughts.
Naked, alone, and in the safety of her single room apartment studio, she nuked a single serving of macaroni and cheese, and fried up a few bits of tofu in ghee with lemon pepper rub for seasoning. It was a small thing, but she looked forward to it everyday, this small ritual of cooking for herself. She’d not eaten any fast food in over a month. She’d lost weight, but she suspected most of it came from the stress of working for the Underground Bureau. After dinner, she cracked open the file to process her last batch of documents.
15, 13, 15, 16, (which was pushing it, possibly a reject doomed to clerical work like her), and (good graces!) one as young as 7. She looked over their photos, read through their psych evals, their physical stats, got a gist of their demeanor from preliminary interviews. Of course, the interviews were mostly worthless. These children had been in no mental state to give eyewitness testimony, let alone make sound rational discussion about their potential future as a Lady of the Peace. Orphans, all of them, like everyone else in the Bureau. Only they hadn’t been broken in yet, not fully, not like the rest. Not like her.

Story Spotlight: Text
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