Friday Fictioneers: April Fools!/Fragile Species

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who provides us with a photo prompt. Each week’s challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by the photo. Click here to play along.

PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy

Shouldn’t it be Anti-Social Distancing?

I accidentally wrote two this week. Both are brilliant. Cherish them. Or don’t. Either way.

April Fools!

“That is not a phone.”

“Yeah, it is. It’s an old-timey phone.”

“No. Phones look like this. See? Does that thing even have WiFi?”

“No. Old-timey phones didn’t get WiFi.”

“See? It’s not a phone. No WiFi, no phone.”

“I’m telling you, it’s a phone.”

“Mooooooooooooom!”

“What? What’s wrong?”

“Lizzie says that thing’s a phone.”

“You scared the doodliepoops out of me.”

“Lizzie’s making up stories.”

“It is a phone.”

“Haha, April Fools!”

“No, seriously. Before that, phones used a dial, and they had cords.”

Sarah called the authorities, on her actual phone, and had her mom and Lizzie committed.

Fragile Species

This planet was dominated by a species called homo sapiens. They rose to prominence via their intelligence. Somewhere during their evolution, they lost that intelligence or grew arrogant and apathetic.

They were a fragile species. Still, they were violent. They polluted their planet and bodies. They ignored warnings about the spread of disease. The planet retaliated.

Their pollution led to changes in the weather. Viruses mutated and grew stronger. Animal life became more aggressive. Deer attacked their freeways. Rodents, birds, raccoons usurped their edifices.

We have studied them through something called YouTube. They were a horrible species, destined for failure.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Fragile Species” is not about a certain virus, which shall not be named. It was inspired by the bird in the picture and a true story. It is so bizarre that this is the second story I’ve worked it into. The first is here.

The other night, my best friend/roommate went shopping after work. (She works as a medical biller, which, in a time of mass illness, is essential. Really? That’s the most important thing? To make sure sick people pay their bills? That’s more important than her staying home and not getting and spreading the virus? She’s such a good person that she volunteered to make masks for those who have to see patients. Sorry for that mini-rant tangent.) Around 19:00, I got a frantic, incoherent call.

What happened? Did someone get within 6 six feet? Did she find toilet tissue and have it taken from her? Did someone cough in her vicinity?

No!

She eventually calmed down enough to tell me pieces of what happened. She was driving on the nearly empty freeway. When, suddenly, out of somewhere, a deer ran across the freeway and hit her car. Let me say that again. A deer ran across the FREEWAY and HIT her car. He slammed himself into the side of the car going 65ish MPH.

My theory is that deer watch “The Walking Dead” and assume that’s where we’re going, so they’re taking this opportunity to take over the world. Or it’s a revenge hit for all the deer she hit while living in a small coastal town in Northern California.

Friday Fictioneers: Domed

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who provides us with a photo prompt. Each week’s challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by the photo.

PHOTO PROMPT © J. Hardy Carroll

I used to be confident in my word count. 100 words every time. I recently started using ProWritingAid, since Grammarly won’t work with my VPN and was no help in fixing that issue. ProWritingAid is amazing but inconsistent in its word count. Different places give different counts. I think this is 100 words, but I won’t swear before a monkey with a wig who’s pretending to be a judge in exchange for bananas.

Domed

“Pauline said there was a time people didn’t live in domes. They could roam freely without suits.”

“Look out there. It’s a barren wasteland. The climate is too hostile.”

“Pauline said outside used to look like inside the domes.”

“Pauline’s full of piffle. If that were true, what happened?”

“Our ancestors, the before people, polluted the planet with vehicles and factories and waste to the point that the climate changed and became desolate.”

“They polluted the whole planet to where it was uninhabitable? Come on. They would have stopped before it got this bad. No one could be that dumb.”

Friday Fictioneers: Webs Of Greed

It’s another Wednesday, which means it’s time for another Friday Fictioneers, which is a challenge to write a 100-word story inspired by the below photo prompt hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. I guess if Major League Baseball can have its Winter Meetings in fall, Rochelle can have Friday Fictioneers on Wednesday as long as she doesn’t implement a designated hitter or worse a designated writer. The designated hitter has been around longer than me, but I still think it’s an atrocity.

sandras-loom
PHOTO PROMPT© Sandra Crook

I’m not really sure what’s going on in the picture. I had to read some of the other stories to get an idea of what’s happening. The best I can tell is there’s a machine in a factory that’s spooling thread, fishing line, Spider-Man’s webs…

Webs Of Greed

As technology improved, computers got smarter.

As computers got smarter, humans got greedier and lazier.

Greed led to more jobs being done by fewer humans.

Laziness led to apathy.

Apathy led the people in charge to ignore the rising poverty rates and downplay the pollution created by their autonomous factories as their wealth grew.

Increasing riots were suppressed by machines built by machines. Further riots were preemptively extinguished by criminalizing poverty, a crime punishable by death. As the impoverished dwindled, poverty was redefined by an algorithm programmed into the machines.

The machines carried on long after the humans were gone.

Flash Fiction: When The Well Runs Dry

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is to write about a bucket of water, which is appropriate since it’s World Water Day. Can you believe we have to have a World Water Day? A day to contemplate and advocate for clean water? What’s more basic than water? Air. That’s it. There’s air, water, sex, food, and everything else.

When The Well Runs Dry

They sprinted to the well. Liza frantically pulled up the bucket.

“Test it!” Mike just looked down and shook his head. “Damn it!”

Liza vented her frustration on the bucket.

The same scene played out countless times.

Their pouches ran dry before Mike sighed and smiled.

“Finally!”

They greedily drank from the well before filling their pouches and bucket.

“We have to get home and hope we haven’t lost anyone else.”

Two days later, Mike and Liza stumbled into the village.

“We found water.” Liza held up the empty bucket. “What?”

“There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza.”

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