I read this short story years ago and cannot remember the author or the title and really want to find it again

From what I can remember, on the night they reach maturity, everyone is visited by the goddess who determines what their life will be like. The story focuses on twins (one male, one female) and the goddess appears to them and shows them visions of the world where everyone alive is a small light. Some shine a lot brighter than others and even eclipse those around them and the male twin is drawn to them. The female twin realises that they burn brightly but not for long and tries to get him to appreciate the smaller, longer-lasting embers. They make their choice and it ends with the girl realising that she will outlive her brother.

Does it ring any bells?

  • In roughly which year did you read this? And did you read it in an anthology, a magazine, or online? Commented Mar 5 at 14:09
  • 1
    @samuei Just for starters neither of those is a girl, at least unless I badly misunderstood the story...
    – DavidW
    Commented Mar 5 at 14:22
  • it was definitely in an anthology and probably roughly late nineties. I thought it was in Get off the unicorn by anne mccaffery but wasn’t there Commented Mar 5 at 16:30
  • @samuei I thought of that too, but the question is clearly something else. Commented Mar 6 at 0:48


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