The Many Lives of Swan Everly

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Universe Y:

Swan Everly is born, grows up with loving parents, falls in love with a kind boy, Jon, graduates from Harvard with a degree in Philosophy, lectures at her alma mater, marries Jon and has 2 children. She lives a long and happy life.

Universe ZX:

Swan Everly is born, grows up with loving parents, graduates from Harvard with honours, marries a fellow law student, Michael, starts her own law practice, wins her first case whilst pregnant with a son, dies in childbirth.

Universe ZY1X:

Swan Everly is born, grows up with loving parents, graduates from Harvard with honours, marries a fellow law student, Troy, starts her own law practice, wins her first case whilst pregnant with twins, becomes the youngest public prosecutor in US history, stabbed to death after a criminal she put in jail comes back for revenge.

Universe A:

Swan Everly is born, grows up with loving parents, falls in love with a bad boy, Bob, drops out of school to marry him, gives birth to three children, spends the rest of her life working 3 jobs to feed her family while Bob is in jail for assault and battery, has six grandchildren before dying of cancer at age 55.

Universe BH31N:

Swan Everly is born, grows up with loving parents, marries her childhood sweetheart Chad, graduates from community college with a degree in social work, dies en route to help an abandoned baby when she is accidentally pushed onto train tracks by someone having a bad day.

Universe C12WX29I:

Swan Everly is born, grows up with loving parents, loses them when a drunk driver smashes his car into theirs, ends up homeless when the bank seizes their family home, freezes to death one night in a particularly cold winter.

Universe W:

Swan Everly is born, grows up with loving parents, an asteroid hits Earth, everyone dies.

Universe X:

Swan Everly is born, grows up with loving parents...

Universe X:

And so it goes on... each universe as dire as the last.

Lyn and Stan Everly's tear-streaked faces turn away from the multiple screens which show in clear technicolour Swan's fate if they remain in their own universe and her fate in every other universe but Universe Y.

"There are only two possibilities: yes or no. Will you keep this baby and accept the physical transfer of all 3 of you to Universe Y, with nothing to your names, and forsaking the right to ever again use our technology to foresee the iterations of your futures?" asks the Facilitator.

Lyn looks at her husband. He squeezes her hand. They both remove their crowns and their royal signet rings. Without hesitation, they place their hands on the screen in front of them, permanently revoking their rights to the throne.

"Yes," they say.

About the Author: 
Christina Sng is a poet, writer, and artist. Her flash fiction has appeared in Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, Grievous Angel, and New Myths. She is the author of Elgin nominee, An Assortment of Sky Things, Astropoetry, and A Collection of Nightmares. Visit her at http://christinasng.com.