Thursday, October 27, 2022

“Inheritance” • by Ephiny Gale


They tell me that taking the memory pill is when you really become an adult.

My friend Marie took it when she was 16, as soon as she legally could, and then she stopped liking any of the guys our age or laughing at our favourite shows. That scared me for a long time. She promised she was fine, but there was something different in her eyes afterwards, like she was haunted.

Mum’s had my pill ready for a while, ever since gran died. It contains most of my grandmother’s memories, and my great grandmother’s, and my great-great grandmother’s from when they first invented the technology. Mum says no pressure, but I know that it’s supposed to give me perspective; give me experience to help me navigate my adult life, make good choices.

Twenty-four is pretty old, but I think I’m finally ready. To be haunted.

The memories of my ancestors flood through me, overwhelming. Celebrations, funerals, childbirth, regrets, moments of joy and inertia. Life is long and life is short, and I will live my own with a legacy inside of me.

Mum hands me a lemonade to sip. “Do you regret it?” she asks.

Not at all.



Ephiny Gale is the author of more than two dozen published short stories and novelettes that have appeared in publications including Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Constellary Tales, and Daily Science Fiction. Her fiction has been awarded the Sundress Publications' Best of the Net award and the Syntax & Salt Editor's Award, and has been a finalist for multiple Aurealis Awards.