Bren MacDibble makes her second appearance at Shiny with this story, set against the exotic backdrop of Bali, it's a little bit SF, a little bit Fantasy. Here's a taste of it.
Being Bella Wang
by Bren MacDibble
I'd felt her presence ever since the plane touched down in Bali and still I jumped at my name.
“Sienna!” A frail figure swanned across the green, hips jutting through a lime silk slip-dress.
A row of black shadow puppets danced across the hem at her knees. Her chest was
impossibly bony. The silk gaped, unfilled, and her sinewy feet were bare on the fine grass.
“Juliet?” She’d always been thin but this was the wasted body and disaffected pose of one of the starvation cults.
I dropped my putter and hurried towards her. She stretched out her hands, and when I took them they were cold, bizarre in the mugginess of a Balinese morning.
I pulled her to me, whole again after so long apart. She was stiff in my embrace and returned it with just one arm to my back, then pulled away. It hurt. She seemed shorter than me now, beyond the height given to me by golf cleats, but that was
impossible. We were genetically identical.
“Sienna, you softy,” she said. “How goes the golfing life?”
“It’s good enough I suppose.” The old arguments came back to me.
“I hear you’re the favourite for the junior strokeplay tomorrow. The Mother must be
pleased.” Juliet had never regarded the original Bella Wang as a mother, just as The Mother.
“She’s here you know.” I nodded at the clubhouse.
Juliet’s cool pose broke and she glanced towards the clubhouse.
I enjoyed a moment of evil glee until I saw her face in profile.