Friday Fictioneers: My Sin

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 © C.E. Ayr

I’m later than a dead pregnant woman on this one. Too soon? Too late? It’s always too soon to joke about dead pregnant women, asshole. Fair enough. I’m later than me everywhere I’ve ever gone. I blame the holiday. No, not Thanksgiving. My Thanksgiving plans were ruined by snow and road closures. I still owe $25,000 on that car. It’s staying safe in the garage. I’m talking about Black Friday Month. In addition to a much needed new car, I needed some appliances, a new bed that doesn’t hurt to sleep on, a new computer… I’ve spent the week shopping and researching and cleaning. In addition, there’s a dog in heat in the home and another with a bone, if you will, and a puppy who refuses to be house-trained. She peed on my bed two nights in a row. Of course, she’s also currently on my lap. What is it about cuteness that conquers all? My roommate’s a breeder. I would have much rather been in the Bay Area con mi familia.

My Sin

My skin is my sin.

I has to be. I didn’t do anything else wrong. I was walking home from school when the police pulled up and demanded to see my I.D.

I’m 13. I don’t have I.D.

They shoved me onto the car. One cop frisked me and held me while the other went through my backpack. Nothing illegal, so they released me.

How do I deal with this? Hate myself for my skin? Return the hatred? No. I hate the ignorance and pity the ignorant.

My skin is not a sin. Judging based on skin is a sin.

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

My goddaughter, who is Black, Hispanic, and Original American, so dark-skinned, recently saw another Black kid get slammed to the ground and handcuffed without provocation. This is, of course, according to her. You know how kids don’t always get the whole story. However, given the recent news and the history of police brutality against those with dark skin, I don’t have a reason not to believe the story as she told it. So, it’s been on my mind a lot. I can’t believe humanity hasn’t moved passed judging people based on skin color yet. Maybe someday we’ll learn to focus on our commonalities instead of our differences.

#FFFC: Fired Again

This was written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #35. It’s based on the photo prompt below provided by mirceaianc at Pixabay.com.

The picture sparked memories of the first time I saw someone painted doing what amounted to android face. That is why AI will eventually take over the world and kill us all. I was at Pier 39 in San Francisco with my family. We were from the Bay Area. I don’t know why we did touristy stuff when we went back. Anyway, this story is about that guy, but not really. It’s a look at prejudice from a comedic slant. I’m not sure that’s still legal. I’m actually pretty sure it’s not, so… shhhh…

Fired Again

Fired again. Sexual improprieties, they said.

Murphy had no rights, no recourse. There was no disciplinary action taken against humans who used pejoratives like “Andy” or “Droid” or called him “R2” or “Data.” Robby was the worst. If he had a nickel for every time someone asked him to say, “Danger, Will Robinson,” he would be one of those androids who worked on a street corner. How degrading!

It appeared that more humans had seen Terminator than Short Circuit, Bicentennial Man, or Wall-E. Humans didn’t understand sentient androids, and it was human nature to fear what they did not understand. Androids were simultaneously too human and not human enough.

Some attempted movements like Android Lives Matter, but they never caught on. It’s challenging to start a campaign when its mission statement is an oxymoron.

Was it his fault the Creator had a juvenile sense of humor? The Creator was a genius when it came to robotics. He developed the sentient android “brain.” He invented the emotion simulator. What he had in genius, he lacked in maturity.

Murphy had to charge as did all androids. He couldn’t comprehend why humans were offended by his charging any more than he was offended by their eating or sleeping. Murphy could run more smoothly and perform at a higher degree of efficiency when he was fully charged. They all knew and understood that, but if anyone saw him initiate charging, their reactions ranged from laughter to screams. Some commented on the size of his charger.

Murphy tried to be discreet, but he couldn’t always attach his charger without being seen. He had to open the pouch just below his waist to access his charger, take it out, and plug it in.

Betty saw. She screamed, “Oh my Jesus!” and fainted. Murphy was fired, again.

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

Just for fun:

A To Z Challenge: Laura Juarez

Catch up on all my previous installments here.

For today’s installment of the A To Z Challenge, we’re going by Laura’s surname. This is a look into some of the anti-alien sentiment that still exists around the time of the refugee’s release from quarantine. This is a precursor to one of my favorite chapters in The L Squad. I got weird, which is fun. Here’s the world’s introduction to Laura Juarez.

Laura Juarez

A phone smashed into the wall as Laura Juarez entered her boss’s office. She jumped and winced and considered leaving. She didn’t just want to leave the room and the building but the job. She thought of quitting many times, but this was her dream job. She followed in her father and grandfather’s footsteps. Journalist was the only job for her. She would have preferred to be employed by a network other than FBS, but they’re the network that gave her a chance.

“Have you heard?” Mr. Laurasbossman asked. Yes, it is quite the coincidence that he’s Laura’s boss, and his name is Mr. Laurasbossman. I think it’s Icelandic.

“Heard?” Laura asked, trying to suppress a cough. The cigar smoke made the room look like a dirty cloud.

“The aliens. Have you heard?” Mr. Laurasbossman repeated, cryptically.

“What about the aliens?” asked Laura Juarez.

“They’re being released. They’re freeing them from quarantine,” said Mr. Laurasbossman.

“Do you want me to do a report?” asked Laura. “I could interview some of the aliens and welcome them to our planet.”

“I want you to do a report,” said Mr. Laurasbossman. “I want a report on the dangers of these aliens. I want them portrayed as vicious and blood-sucking. Tell the world about the diseases they carry.”

“If any of that were true, they wouldn’t be released from quarantine,” said Laura Juarez.

“I don’t care what’s true,” said Mr. Laurasbossman. “That’s our stance. That’s our story.”

“I became a journalist to report the news, not makeup stories,” said Laura. “What about the facts?”

“No one cares about the facts,” said Mr. Laurasbossman. “People want sensationalism. They want to be scared. More importantly, they need to know that these aliens are a threat to our planet’s safety.”

“I don’t believe that,” said Laura. “I think…”

“Enough!” yelled Mr. Laurasbossman, shaking free the ash from the end of his cigar. “That is the story we’re telling. Now, go tell it or go back to whatever local news channel you escaped from before coming here.”

Laura paused. She pondered the value of her integrity. She wondered if the job of her dreams, the career she worked all her life to get was worth selling out her values and her forebearers. Rage swelled up inside her at the thought. It wasn’t worth it. The time had finally come for Laura to tell this megalomaniac what she really thought of him. He could take this job and…

“Go!”

Laura left and got to work on her report.

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