“What is that?” Alex’s five-year-old grandson asked him as the tour boat passed the small island with the large statue on it.
“That is Statuya Svobody, Dimitri,” Alex responded.
“What does that mean, grandpa?”Dimitri asked.
“It’s Russian, and loosely translated, it means The Statue of Liberty” Alex said. “That was its name when it was presented as a gift to the United States from France in 1886.”
“Why Russian and not English?” Dimitri asked.
“Back in 2023, the then president of the United States declared himself to be emperor and shredded the American constitution. Three years later he negotiated a deal with the president of the Russian Federation that essentially enabled Russia to annex the United States and our country’s name was changed to the Russian Federation of America, or R.F.A.,” Alex explained.
“Since then, a lot has changed,” Alex continued. “Washington, DC became New Moscow, all of the history books were rewritten, and anyone voicing opposition was subject to imprisonment.”
Dimitri didn’t really understand what his grandfather was talking about and, growing bored, he asked Alex to buy him an ice cream cone.
Alex was relieved. He knew that the penalties for talking to anyone about pre-Federation America were harsh.
Written for Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Photo credit: Morguefile.