Originally published in the June 2012 edition of Kazka Press.
This story went through a number of iterations to get to where it is today. The main characters changed names and ethnicities twice, a slew of back story was added and then deleted to tighten it back up; and several fellow writers helped me dial it in. I had just finished a couple of Civil War based short stories when I wrote this, so I spun in some themes from that era, including a final battle set in Harper’s Ferry.
“The Fletchers Nyqvist,” is set in a bleak near-future where the nations of Earth have fractured into thousands on tiny nations, city-states and principalities. It’s not quite an apocalypse, but nevertheless a huge decline in civilization and a corresponding increase in chaos. Peter and Yolanda Nyqvist make a meager living fletching arrows for hunters and the army until slavery makes a comeback too close to home.
My short story, “Three-Quarters Martian,” is also set in this fractured world.
The Fletchers Nyqvist
Twenty-four years after their avatars first crossed broadswords in a virtual dungeon, back when the Internet still functioned, Peter and Yolanda Nyqvist were the only fletchers at the weekly market in NewDC. Peter rode up to the mine every Wednesday after market, where his brother-in-law Hector chipped out the flint that they used for arrowheads. Fletching was a decent family business in 2045; people still killed each other regularly, but for the most part they were out of bullets.