Note: This piece was originally written for Cracked Flash’s weekly writing contest. It didn’t win, but I still thought it was worth sharing since it is one of the first pieces I’ve written using gender neutral pronouns. I’ve been researching them for a while and often feel that if they were more known, I would rather use some neutral than she/her.
In the end, I think this piece was more of an excercise than a full story, but I’d love to hear what you all think of the Ey/Eir and how it worked in the piece. -Sara
by Sara Codair
Eli, the captain of the guard, watched two figures silently move through the shadows. Ey unholstered eir blaster then stalked after them. Eir heart raced as they approached the supply house. The manager reported canned goods and medicine stolen, but no one had caught the culprit. Eli suspected that was because eir investigators pitied the fools who lived outside the compound.
The figures walked right past the supply house into the scrapyard. Nothing was reported stolen from there, though they rarely inventoried it since no one used cars. It was too dangerous for Eli’s people to leave the compound.
Ey followed the thieves right up to a rusty carcass of a pickup truck and waited until their heads vanished into the hood. Ey aimed eir blaster. “Freeze! Put your hands where I can see them.”
The two figures turned. Judging by their wrinkles, stubbly pale skin and flat chests, Eli guessed they were two middle aged white men – the kind of people that made it too dangerous for eir to live in out in the world.
“Please don’t shoot.” Both men dropped to their knees. “The government has gone nuts. We need your help.”
“Get off my property!” Eli undid the safety.
“Please let me take this. I’ll pay you back with labor. I have no money, my truck is broken, and my daughter needs to get to a hospital. She’s has a major infection.”
Part of Eli wanted to send the men away, reject them in the same way society had rejected eir, but as ey watched them look at her like they were praying to some forgotten god, ey couldn’t do it. “Take the part and bring your daughter here. We have doctors, and could use some help turning over the fields next week.”